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Your Guide to the Ligue 1 weekend: 8 (2014/2015)

Get French Football News’s preview machine Robert Bhamber gives you the most comprehensive of guides to the forthcoming round of Ligue 1 weekend fixtures so that you’re best prepared to follow the games with ease.

Saturday: Monaco (11th) vs Nice (12th) (13:00 GMT)

The first match of the weekend sees Monaco take on Nice in the Côte d’Azur derby at the Stade Louis II. The home side have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes recently, winning their last three games in all competitions. The latest of those victories came on Wednesday, when Leonardo Jardim’s men were 1-0 winners away at Montpellier thanks to an injury-time winner from Valere Germain. 

Nice, meanwhile, caused a shock result in midweek, winning 1-0 at home against the previously undefeated Lille. Manager Claude Puel will be hoping his side can create another upset this weekend against their local rivals, who they are currently level on points with in the Ligue 1 table.

– Monaco have spent all of the season so far in the bottom half of the table.

– They have won one; lost one and drawn one at home in the league so far this season.

– Nice have conceded 11 times so far this season; only Evian and Reims (both 16) have let in more.

– They have taken just one point from nine on the road this season.

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

 

Saturday: Toulouse (10th) vs PSG (4th) (16:00 GMT)

Toulouse’s decent home record this season will be put to the test as champions PSG visit the Stadium Municipal on Saturday afternoon. The hosts are unbeaten at home so far this campaign, beating both Lyon and Evian while also drawing 3-3 with Caen. However, PSG will be by far their toughest opponents they have come up against this season.

The visitors finally picked up their first away win of the season in midweek, defeating Caen 2-0, and Laurent Blanc will be hoping their second follows in quick succession. He will also be looking for his side to wrap up all three points here with the minimum amount of fuss, with PSG’s Champions League clash at home against Barcelona on Tuesday surely in the back of his mind.

– Toulouse have scored 11 league goals this season – only three teams have scored more.

– They have scored six and conceded four in their home games this season.

– PSG are unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions so far this campaign.

– They have scored 13 league goals this season; only Marseille (19) have scored more.

– Last season, PSG won this match 4-2.

 

Saturday: Lille (5th) vs Bastia (16th) (19:00 GMT)

Lille will be looking to bounce back from their first league defeat of the season when they face Bastia at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Rene Girard’s men went down 1-0 away to Nice in midweek, falling to fifth in the table in the process. Girard will be looking for his side to get back to winning ways immediately, starting with a victory against a struggling Bastia side. 

The visitors have won just one of their seven league games so far this season and have taken only one point from nine on the road. A goalless draw in midweek at home to Nantes was enough to lift them out of the bottom three, but it will be a massive shock if Bastia were to get anything from this game.

– Lille have won two and drawn two at home in the league so far this season.

– They topped the table at the end of Week 5, but a 0-0 draw at home to Montpellier and the loss to Nice have left Lille four points away from new league leaders Marseille.

– Bastia’s only point away from home this season came in Week 4, when they drew 1-1 away at Bordeaux.

– They have scored twice and conceded six times on their travels.

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

 

Saturday: Metz (6th) vs Reims (18th) (19:00 GMT)

Metz will be searching for their third consecutive league win as they welcome struggling Reims to the Stade Saint-Symphorien. The hosts have taken all three points against Bastia at home and Guingamp away in the last seven days and have shot up from 17th to sixth in the league as a result. Albert Cartier will be hoping his side can keep up their recent good form for as long as possible.

Reims were similarly looking for their third league win in a row in midweek, but they were emphatically denied by a 5-0 loss at home to league leaders Marseille. Manager Jean-Luc Vasseur will be hoping his team can bounce back from that heavy defeat and end Metz’s search for a third win on the trot in a similar fashion to what they suffered at the hands of Marseille. 

– Metz have lost only one of their last four league games; 1-0 away to Nice.

– They have taken seven points from nine available at home this season.

– Reims have won just one of their three away games; 1-0 away at Lorient.

– The 5-0 defeat to Marseille dropped them into the relegation zone for the fourth week this season.

– The last time this fixture was played was in 2011/12 in Ligue 2, when Metz emerged 1-0 winners.

 

Saturday: Montpellier (9th) vs Guingamp (19th) (19:00 GMT)

Montpellier will be looking to get back to winning ways as they face Guingamp at the Stade de la Mosson. The home side had won three of their first five league games, but have since drawn with Lille and lost to Monaco, slipping to ninth in Ligue 1 in the process. Rolland Courbis will be expecting his side to collect all three points at home against a struggling Guingamp side. 

The visitors have lost all but two of their seven league games this season and have spent five weeks in the bottom three as a result. One of those wins did, however, come away from home; they emerged 1-0 winners at Lens in Week 2. Jocelyn Gourvennec will be desperate for a similar result at the Stade de la Mosson this weekend.

– Montpellier have taken six points from 12 at home this season.

– They have beaten Metz and Lorient on home turf, but also lost to Bordeaux and Monaco.

– Guingamp have scored just three league goals this season, while they have conceded 10.

– Their other league victory came in Week 5; a 2-1 win at home to Bordeaux.

– Last season, this match finished 1-1.

 

Saturday: Lorient (17th) vs Evian (20th) (19:00 GMT)

Struggling Lorient meet bottom-of-the-table Evian at the Stade du Moustoir on Saturday evening. The hosts have lost four of their last five league games and fallen to 17th in the table as a result. However, a home game against bottom side Evian will be just what manager Sylvain Ripoll would have wanted; a chance to claim all three points in a match that they will be favourites to win.

Evian, however, are heading into this match on the back of their first league victory of the season. They triumphed 2-1 at home to Lens in midweek, a result which saw them move to within three points of their opponents this weekend. Pascal Dupraz will be hoping his side can take advantage of Lorient’s current bad form to claim their second consecutive league win.

– Lorient have taken four points from nine at home this season.

– They have beaten Guingamp, drawn with Nice and lost to Reims on home turf thus far.

– Evian have been bottom of the league ever since Week 1.

– Before their win in midweek, their only point had come from a draw with champions PSG at home in Week 3.

– Last season, this match ended up 1-1.

 

Sunday: Bordeaux (2nd) vs Rennes (13th) (13:00 GMT)

Bordeaux will have the chance to move back to the top of Ligue 1, for a few hours at least, if they win their match against Rennes on Sunday. With Marseille not playing until later in the day, Willy Sagnol’s men can again claim the position they lost three weeks ago; a loss to Guingamp and the midweek draw with St Etienne have seen Bordeaux fall two points behind the league leaders.

Rennes, meanwhile, will be looking to avoid a third consecutive league defeat, after losing 3-0 to both Marseille and Toulouse within the last seven days. However, with Rennes picking up just four points from 12 on the road this season, Bordeaux will head into this match as strong favourites. 

– Bordeaux have won two and drawn one at home so far.

– They have scored seven and conceded three in those games.

– Rennes have scored just one away goal all season.

– They have kept two clean sheets in seven league games this season.

– Last season, this match finished as a 2-2 draw.

 

Sunday: Nantes (7th) vs Lyon (8th) (16:00 GMT)

Nantes will be hoping to stop Lyon’s upturn in form as Les Gones visit the Stade de la Beaujoire. The home side have claimed three wins from four home games the season, with their only defeat so far coming in Week 3 against Monaco. Their home form has been good enough to see Michel Der Zakarian’s side move up to seventh in the table, despite them having yet to win on their travels.

After three consecutive losses, Lyon have now gone three league games unbeaten, with recent wins over Monaco and Lorient, and a highly creditable draw with PSG at the Parc des Princes, taking them from 17th to eighth in the table. Hubert Fournier will want more of the same here, especially with a tough match against Lille coming up in Week 9.

– Nantes have the second best home record in the league.

– All of Nantes’ home wins this season have seen the hosts score the opening goal.

– Despite their recent good form, Lyon have still only taken one point from nine on the road this season.

– They have scored three and conceded five in away league games so far.

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

 

Sunday: Lens (15th) vs Caen (14th) (16:00 GMT)

Two newly-promoted sides meet at the Stade de la Licorne as Lens face Caen on Sunday afternoon. Both sides are level on seven points in the league, after both winning just two of their seven Ligue 1 games so far this campaign. Lens are winless in their last three, after drawing with Bastia and then going down 1-0 to both St Etienne and Evian in the past seven days.

Caen, meanwhile, are winless in their last four, with a 3-3 draw at Toulouse sandwiched between losses to Rennes, St Etienne and, most recently, champions PSG. Both Antoine Kombouare and Patrice Garande will view this match as winnable, with both managers desperate for their teams to end their winless runs as soon as possible.

– Lens have picked up three points from nine at the Stade de la Licorne this season.

– They beat Reims in Week 4, but have suffered tight 1-0 defeats at the hands of Guingamp and St Etienne.

– All of Caen’s points so far this season have come away from home.

– They have emerged victorious at Evian and Reims, while drawing with Toulouse at the Stadium Municipal.

– The fixture was played last season in Ligue 2, with Lens emerging 2-1 winners.

 

Sunday: Marseille (1st) vs St Etienne (3rd) (20:00 GMT)

The biggest match of the weekend also happens to be the last, as league leaders Marseille host third placed St Etienne at the Stade Velodrome. The home side are in fantastic form at the moment with five consecutive league wins, most have which have been comprehensive victories. They have swept away Rennes (3-0) and Reims (5-0) in the past seven days, but this fixture, on paper at least, looks to be their toughest they have faced in the league so far this season.

St Etienne head into this clash on a three game unbeaten run in the league, with consecutive 1-0 wins over Caen and Lens being followed up by a 1-1 draw against Bordeaux in midweek. The visitors have been around the top of the table for pretty much the whole season so far, they are currently two points behind their opponents, so this is the perfect opportunity for Christophe Galtier’s men to make a statement and show that they really could make a push for the title this season.

– Marseille have been top of the league for the last two weeks.

– They have taken six points from nine at home in the league thus far, losing only to Montpellier in Week 2.

– Similarly, St Etienne have won six points from nine in away league games so far this campaign.

– They have won at Guingamp and Lens, but did suffer a 5-0 loss at the hands of champions PSG in Week 4.

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

R.B.

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