Robert Bhamber takes you through this weekend of Ligue 1 action.
Saturday: Lille (12th) vs Monaco (5th) (16:00 GMT)
Lille will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Lorient when Monaco visit the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Saturday afternoon. The hosts had hoped that their league form was getting back on track after two successive wins against Evian and Caen, but the defeat away at Lorient summed up their disappointing season so far.
And Monaco certainly aren’t the easiest of teams to face right now, having lost just one of their last 13 league games. Like Lille, Monaco have also had an underwhelming campaign so far, but Leonardo Jardim’s men have at least been able to rectify their poor early season form, moving from 12th to fifth in the table over the last couple of months. They can move even closer to the top four by taking all three points here.
– Lille have the worst attack in the division, scoring just 17 goals in 21 matches this season.
– However, they have conceded just four times at home in the league, the joint-lowest tally along with St Etienne.
– Monaco have kept six consecutive clean sheets in the league.
– They have won their last two league away games – against Toulouse and Metz.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 4, these two teams drew 1-1 at the Stade Louis II.
Saturday: Bastia (15th) vs Bordeaux (7th) (19:00 GMT)
Bastia will be aiming to extend their four league game unbeaten run as they welcome Bordeaux to the Stade Armand Cesari. The home side have won two and drawn two in the league recently, including an impressive 4-2 victory against champions PSG; a run of results which has seen them rise from the bottom of the table to 15th.
And they will be hoping to take advantage of a Bordeaux side low on confidence at the moment. The visitors have lost three of their last four league outings and have lost ground on the likes of St Etienne and Monaco as a result. Willy Sagnol knows his side need to get back to winning ways soon in order to avoid dropping further down the standings, but Bastia will certainly put up a fight in this one.
– Bastia have won four, drawn four and lost three at home in the league this season.
– They have scored 15 and conceded 13 goals in these games.
– Bordeaux haven’t won any of their last four league away games.
– They have not dropped below seventh in the table all season.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 4, these two teams drew 1-1 at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.
Saturday: Guingamp (13th) vs Lorient (14th) (19:00 GMT)
Guingamp face Lorient at the Stade du Roudourou as they look to bounce back from last weekend’s late defeat to Marseille. The hosts narrowly lost out at the Stade Velodrome, a result that ended their five game unbeaten run in the league. Jocelyn Gourvennec will be hoping his players respond by taking all three points against a side one place below them in the league.
The visitors can leapfrog their opponents with a victory here this weekend and manager Sylvain Ripoll will be confident his side can get a result, especially after their impressive 1-0 win over Lille in their last league outing. That victory moved them from 16th to 14th in the table and, more importantly, three points clear of the relegation zone.
– Guingamp have won each of their last three home league games.
– However, they have lost all five home league matches in which they conceded the first goal this season.
– Lorient have taken just nine points from a possible 30 on the road this campaign.
– They have scored 11 and conceded 19 on their travels.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 4, Lorient comfortably beat Guingamp 4-0 at the Stade du Moustoir.
Saturday: Montpellier (6th) vs Nantes (8th) (19:00 GMT)
Montpellier will be hoping their run of good form continues as they take on Nantes at the Stade de la Mosson. The hosts are unbeaten in their last five league outings and have risen up to sixth in the table as a result. They followed up their impressive win over Marseille with a 3-2 victory away at Metz last weekend and now manager Rolland Courbis will be aiming for a third successive league win, something Montpellier are yet to achieve this season.
Meanwhile, Nantes have slowly been dropping down the table over the last couple of months. Their excellent defensive record took them as high as fourth at one point, but their form has fallen away recently and left them trailing behind the league’s frontrunners in eighth. They lost 1-0 to Monaco in their last league outing.
– Montpellier have scored 12 goals in their last five league games.
– Their win over Marseille saw them complete a league double over the title challengers.
– Nantes have lost four of their last seven league matches.
– They have spent the entire season in the top half of the table.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 4, Nantes beat Montpellier 1-0 at the Stade de la Beaujoire.
Sunday: Evian (18th) vs Toulouse (16th) (13:00 GMT)
Evian and Toulouse meet at the Parc des Sports on Sunday in a match between two teams at the wrong end of the table. The hosts head into the weekend in the relegation zone due to their poor goal difference, but manager Pascal Dupraz will still be hoping his side can pull off a victory against a side just two points above them.
Likewise, Toulouse manager Alain Casanova will also see this match as one in which his side should be winning. They certainly need to start picking up victories soon, as just two wins in their last 12 league outings have seen them fall from a comfortable eighth position down to 16th.
– Evian have lost five of their last six league games.
– They have spent 14 weeks in the bottom three this season.
– Toulouse haven’t won any of their last five league matches – losing three and drawing the other two.
– They have lost eight away league games this season, conceding the first goal in all of them.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 4, Toulouse beat Evian 1-0 at the Stadium Municipal.
Sunday: Lyon (1st) vs Metz (17th) (13:00 GMT)
Lyon will be aiming to take advantage of Marseille’s loss to Nice on Friday night when they host Metz at the Stade de Gerland. The league leaders will have the opportunity to extend the gap between themselves and Marseille to four points with a victory here and they will certainly be favourites against a side struggling at the bottom end of the table.
Metz head into the weekend in 17th position, sitting just above the relegation zone on goal difference. The visitors dreadful run of form has seen them lose seven of their last nine league outings, therefore a trip to the home of the league’s current form side is the last thing that manager Albert Cartier would have wanted right now.
– Lyon have won each of their last six league games.
– They are unsurprisingly the league’s highest scorers, having netted 45 times in 21 games this season.
– Metz have only opened the scoring four times this season, but they have won each of those games.
– They have the league’s worst away record, taking just five points from a possible 33 this season.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 4, Metz shocked Lyon by beating them 2-1 at the Stade Saint-Symphorien.
Sunday: Rennes (10th) vs Caen (20th) (16:00 GMT)
Rennes will be hoping to end a five game winless run in the league when they take on bottom-of-the-table Caen at the Stade de la Route de Lorient. The hosts entered the winter break on the back of three consecutive losses and have returned to action in the New Year with draws against Evian and St Etienne. Manager Philippe Montanier will view this match as the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways.
Caen, meanwhile, sit two points from safety at the bottom of Ligue 1, managing just four league victories all season. However, one of those four wins came about last weekend, as Caen shocked everyone by beating Reims 4-1 at home. That result pulled Patrice Garande’s men closer to safety and should give them confidence heading into this match.
– Rennes have won 17 points from a possible 30 at home this season.
– They have scored 15 and conceded 13 in their 10 home league games so far.
– Caen have lost their last three away league outings.
– They have been bottom of the table for the last four weeks.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 4, Rennes beat Caen 1-0 at the Stade Michel d’Ornano.
Sunday: Reims (11th) vs Lens (19th) (16:00 GMT)
Reims and Lens meet at the Stade Auguste Delaune on Sunday afternoon, with both sides heading into the match on the back of successive league defeats. The hosts currently sit comfortably in mid-table, eight points above the drop zone, but have lost to both St Etienne and Caen since the start of the New Year. Jean-Luc Vasseur would have been especially concerned about last weekend’s 4-1 thrashing away to Caen and he will be expecting a response from his players here.
Lens, meanwhile, will be aiming to replicate the feat that Caen achieved just a few days ago. Like Caen, they are fighting a battle to stay in the division; sitting in 19th heading into the weekend, one point from safety. Antoine Kombouare’s men have lost to both Guingamp and Lyon in the league since their return to action after the winter break.
– Reims have taken 19 points from a possible 33 at home this season.
– They have scored 16 and conceded 17 in these games.
– Lens have spent 11 weeks in the bottom three this season.
– They haven’t won any of their last five league away matches.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 4, Lens beat Reims 4-2 at the Stade de la Licorne.
Sunday: St Etienne (4th) vs PSG (3rd) (20:00 GMT)
St Etienne and PSG clash at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Sunday evening, with both sides looking to keep up with league leaders Lyon. The home side are in formidable form in the league; they are unbeaten in their last 12 outings and are just one point behind PSG heading into this match. They dropped points away at Rennes last week though, so Christophe Galtier will be hoping to take all three from this one.
The champions haven’t been at their best recently, winning just one of their last four league games. However, PSG head into this game knowing that they have the opportunity not only to move four points clear of St Etienne in the table, but to also move level with Marseille in second.
– St Etienne have conceded just one goal in their last eight league games.
– They have only lost one home league game this season, against Toulouse in Week 9.
– PSG have lost their last two away league fixtures – against Guingamp and Bastia.
– They have scored 17 and conceded 14 on the road.
– In the reverse fixture in Week 4, PSG thrashed St Etienne 5-0 at the Parc des Princes.