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Your Guide to the Ligue 1 Weekend 11 (2014/2015)

Your weekly dose of Ligue 1 essentials returns with Robert Bhamber.

 

Friday: Toulouse (9th) vs Lens (20th) (19:30 GMT)

Week 11 starts with bottom-of-the-table Lens travelling to the Stadium Municipal to take on Toulouse on Friday evening. The hosts may have been inconsistent so far this season, but they remain unbeaten at home and will want to extend that run here. Playing on home turf and with in-form Wissam Ben Yedder up front, manager Alain Casanova will be expecting a much better result than last weekend’s loss to Marseille. 

Lens, meanwhile, are looking to end their six game winless run, which has seen them drop from 9th to 20th in the league. The newly-promoted side are struggling from a combination of injuries and suspensions as well as the long-standing effects of not being able to sign any new players during the summer due to their transfer ban, but manager Antoine Kombouare will remain hopeful that his side can spring a surprise and take something from this match, as they did when they won at Lyon in Week 3.

– Only Marseille’s Andre-Pierre Gignac (10) and Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette (8) have scored more league goals this season than Ben Yedder, who has six.

– Their unbeaten home run has seen them defeat Lyon and Evian and draw with Caen and PSG.

– Lens have scored just seven goals this season; only Guingamp (6) have scored fewer.

– They have scored two and conceded five on their travels so far.

– The last time this fixture was played was during the 2010/11 season, when the match finished 1-1.

 

Saturday: PSG (2nd) vs Bordeaux (3rd) (16:00 GMT)

The first match of Saturday sees champions PSG welcome Bordeaux to the Parc des Princes. The hosts will be without strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani due to injury and suspension respectively, but coach Laurent Blanc will still be demanding his side pick up all three points here; something they need to do if they want to start to close the seven point gap between themselves and league leaders Marseille.

Bordeaux sit behind PSG in the table on goal difference only and can make a major statement of intent by taking points away with them from the Parc des Princes this weekend. Willy Sagnol’s men have wobbled a bit in the last couple of weeks after a loss at Reims and being held to a draw at home by Caen, but Sagnol will be hoping his side can take advantage of PSG not being quite at their best.

– PSG are unbeaten in 14 matches in all competitions this season.

– They have conceded just seven goals in the league thus far; the joint lowest in the league along with Lille and Nantes.

– Bordeaux spent three weeks at the top of the table earlier this campaign and have not been lower than seventh all season.

– However, they have not kept a clean sheet since the opening day.

– Last season, PSG won this match 2-0.

 

Saturday: Evian (17th) vs Nantes (6th) (19:00 GMT)

Evian will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Monaco by claiming all three points when Nantes visit the Parc des Sports. The 2-0 loss at the Stade Louis II ended Evian’s resurgent three game winning streak, but manager Pascal Dupraz will be hoping his side can continue the good form that saw them climb off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone for the first time this season.

Nantes come into this match on a streak of their own; a five game unbeaten streak which has seen them defeat Nice and Guingamp and draw with Bastia, Lyon and Reims. Their away form isn’t the best though; their only win came at Guingamp, while they have been held to draws at Metz and Bastia and were beaten away at Lille.

– Before they embarked on their three-match winning streak, Evian had lost five of their opening league six games.

– They spent the first seven weeks of the season at the bottom of the table.

– Nantes aren’t the most prolific in front of goal, scoring just eight times in 10 league games so far.

– Only two of these goals have come away from home.

– Last season, Evian won this match 2-0.

 

Saturday: Reims (14th) vs Montpellier (11th) (19:00 GMT)

Reims will be looking to continue their rise up the table as Montpellier visit the Stade Auguste Delaune this weekend. The hosts have beaten Bordeaux and drawn with Nantes in their last two games, results which have seen Jean-Luc Vasseur’s men climb from 19th to 14th in the league.

Montpellier, meanwhile, will be hoping to improve on an away record that has seen them pick up just five points from 15 on the road so far this campaign. Their only victory away from home came at Marseille in Week 2 and they were comfortably beaten 5-1 at Lyon last weekend. Rolland Courbis will be looking for his players to respond to the heavy beating they took last time out and they can do that by taking all three points away from Reims this Saturday. 

– Reims have lost five out of their 10 league games this campaign.

– They have won every game in which they have kept a clean sheet.

– Montpellier have been inconsistent so far this campaign, with four wins, two draws and four losses.

– They have scored four times away from home and conceded seven in return.

– Last season, the visitors won this match 4-2.

 

Saturday: Bastia (16th) vs Monaco (10th) (19:00 GMT)

Bastia will be looking for a second consecutive victory as they take on Monaco at the Stade Armand Cesari. The hosts ended a seven game winless run last weekend thanks to their  1-0 victory away at Nice, only their second of the season so far. Nevertheless, Claude Makelele will be hoping that last week’s win can spur his team on to get at least a point when Monaco visit on Saturday. 

Monaco head into this game on the back of a goalless Champions League draw at home against Benfica in midweek, as well as last weekend’s win over Evian and a recent draw at the home of champions PSG. Leonardo Jardim will be hoping that these results mean his side are finally getting back to the standards demanded of them and he will be expecting his men to take all three points from this game. 

– Despite being 16th in the table, Bastia have lost just one of their five home games this season; against Lorient in Week 9.

– They have scored five at home, while they have conceded six.

– Monaco’s current position of 10th in the highest they have been all season.

– They have won two, drawn one and lost two of their league away games this campaign.

– Last season, Monaco won this match 2-0.

 

Saturday: Caen (18th) vs Lorient (15th) (19:00 GMT)

Two struggling teams meet at the Stade Michel d’Ornano as Caen take on Lorient. The home side haven’t won any of their last seven league games, losing four of them, and sit just one point above bottom-of-the-table Lens. They did, however, manage to hold Bordeaux to a 1-1 draw last weekend, a result that will give manager Patrice Garande something positive to take into this match.

Lorient, meanwhile, aren’t doing too much better themselves. They have lost five of their last six league games and are only one point better off than their opponents heading into this weekend. Sylvain Ripoll will be hoping that his side can take advantage of their opposition’s struggles and secure a much needed win, but Garande will be thinking the exact same thing in the opposite dugout.

– Caen have lost each of their four home league games so far this campaign.

– They have scored just once on home turf, while they have conceded six.

– Lorient have won two and lost three on the road so far this season.

– Their two victories came at Monaco on the opening weekend and at Bastia in Week 9.

– The last time this fixture was played was during the 2011/12 season, in which Caen emerged 1-0 winners.

 

 Sunday: Rennes (13th) vs Lille (8th) (13:00 GMT)

Lille will be looking to bounce back from consecutive league defeats when they travel to the Stade de la Route de Lorient to tackle Rennes on Sunday afternoon. The hosts have won only one of their last six league matches, scoring just two goals in that period. Philippe Montanier has demanded his team to be more consistent and clinical recently and will be hoping for an improved performance this weekend.

The visitors have troubles of their own to attend to, as three losses in their last four league games have resulted in Rene Girard’s side falling from fourth to eighth in the table and 10 points behind league leaders Marseille. They head into this match on the back of a goalless draw at home to Everton in the Europa League.

– Rennes have managed to keep clean sheets in their last two league games.

– They have won two, drawn one and lost one at home so far this campaign.

– Lille have scored just eight goals in their ten league matches so far.

– However, they have the joint-best defensive record in the league, along with Nantes and PSG, conceding just seven times.

– Last season, this match finished as a goalless draw.

 

Sunday: St Etienne (5th) vs Metz (7th) (16:00 GMT)

St Etienne will be looking for a second consecutive league win when they host Metz at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard this weekend. The home side have lost against Marseille and Toulouse recently, but got back to winning ways last time out with a 1-0 victory away at Lorient. Christophe Galtier will want his side to carry that momentum into this match and claim all three points in order to keep up with the likes of PSG, Bordeaux and Lyon in the table. St Etienne head into this match on the back of an impressive goalless draw away at Inter Milan in the Europa League.

Metz, meanwhile, have put together an impressive run of results since their promotion to Ligue 1. The visitors have lost just once in their last five league games and sit just two points behind their hosts heading into the weekend. It will be a tough match for the newly-promoted side, but given his side’s form so far, Albert Cartier will be hopeful his men can take something from this match.

– St Etienne’s loss to Toulouse in Week 9 was their first home league defeat of the season.

– They have scored five home league goals this campaign, while they have conceded three.

– Metz’s only away win this season came in Week 7, when they were victorious at Guingamp.

– They have scored only one goal away from home so far this season, conceding six in return.

– The last time this fixture was played was in 2007/08, with St Etienne emerging as 2-0 winners that day.

 

Sunday: Guingamp (19th) vs Nice (12th) (16:00 GMT)

Struggling Guingamp will be looking to build on last week’s shock 2-1 win over Lille when they face Nice at the Stade du Roudourou. That victory at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy was enough to lift Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side off the bottom of the table and also ended a run of four straight league defeats. However, their record at home isn’t the best; they have taken just three points from 15 on their own turf so far this campaign. 

Nice, meanwhile, will be looking for some consistency in order to climb up the table in the coming weeks. They have won two, lost two and drawn one of their last five games, but manager Claude Puel has made it clear he wants more victories. A game against a side struggling at the wrong end of the table could be the perfect place to start a decent run of results.

– Guingamp are yet to draw a league game this season; they have won three and lost seven so far.

– Their only home win in the league came in Week 5 against Bordeaux.

– Nice have taken four points from 12 available away from home this season.

– They have scored just two goals in those games, conceding six times.

– Last season, Guingamp won this match 1-0.

 

Sunday: Lyon (4th) vs Marseille (1st) (20:00 GMT)

The biggest match this weekend is also the last, as Lyon take on league leaders Marseille at the Stade de Gerland. The hosts will be determined to end Marseille’s recent winning streak, especially with a winning run of their own at stake; Lyon have won each of their last four home matches in the league. Hubert Fournier, therefore, will be confident his side can bring the leaders back down to earth, but even a draw would be seen as a good result for Lyon considering the form that their opponent’s are in right now.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have blown everyone away recently, winning their last last eight league games to create a seven point gap between themselves and second-placed PSG. However, a visit to the Stade de Gerland, on paper at least, looks set to be the toughest task that Bielsa has faced during his spell in charge of L’OM. If he was to oversee yet another victory this weekend, he will set a club record for the most consecutive top-flight league wins. 

– Lyon are unbeaten in their last six Ligue 1 matches, winning four and drawing two.

– They have scored 20 goals in 10 league games so far, a tally bettered only by their opponents, who have scored 25.

– Marseille’s record after 10 games is the best of any team since Lyon in 2006-07, who had managed to win 28 points from the 30 available.

–  The aggregate score of Marseille’s eight match winning streak is 22-3.

– Last season, Lyon won this match 2-1.

R.B.

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