France shock USA with 3-1 opening win at Toulon

France shock USA with 3-1 opening win at Toulon

France got their 2015 Toulon Tournament campaign off to a fantastic start on Wednesday. Three first half goals put a swift end to the challenge from the United States and announced a new group of talented young players. Francis Smerecki lined up his side playing 4-2-3-1 with Yann Bodiger and Baptiste Santamaria anchoring the midfield so the three talented attacking midfielders – Romain Habran, Fares Bahlouli and Thomas Lemar – could play with freedom. Bahlouli of Lyon started in a…

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Lille OSC v RC Lens: The Must-Win Derby du Nord

Lille OSC v RC Lens: The Must-Win Derby du Nord

In the Lille suburb of Villeneuve d’Ascq, the summer sun glistened through the trees at the Stade Lille Metropole on a warm Sunday evening in August 2006. Not since 1994 had the Derby du Nord been played so early in the season, and with both teams starting with a victory, defeat for either RC Lens or Lille OSC could spell disaster to the entire campaign. 90 minutes later and Lille had blown their bitter rivals…

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Is Claudio Ranieri the Man to Save Florian Thauvin?

Is Claudio Ranieri the Man to Save Florian Thauvin?

It’s rare that a week goes past without a new twist in the Olympique de Marseille soap opera. After two consecutive defeats to Paris Saint-Germain and Girondins de Bordeaux, news emerged that Italian coach Claudio Ranieri could be the man to replace Marcelo Bielsa at the Stade Velodrome if, as expected, El Loco should leave at the end of the season. Hometown boy and Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier may be the fans’ choice to take over…

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Laurent Blanc: Hindrance, Mastermind or Just Lucky?

Laurent Blanc: Hindrance, Mastermind or Just Lucky?

In the world of modern day media, every game is analysed and over-analysed. It is easier to predict what is going to happen before a game, and then distance yourself when it doesn’t work out. When it comes to post-match analysis, hindsight is a wonderful thing and can help shape what and how you write. On Wednesday night, Paris Saint-Germain pulled off one of the greatest results in their history. Knocking Chelsea out of the…

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Nabil Fekir Picks France: Where Will Deschamps Use Him?

Nabil Fekir Picks France: Where Will Deschamps Use Him?

The front page of Tuesday’s L’Equipe featured Olympique Lyonnais forward Nabil Fekir, confirming his decision to play for the country of his birth, France, over Algeria, the country where his parents were born. Front page of L’Equipe today. Fekir has made his decision. #FRA #OL pic.twitter.com/GnS3rIsY0o — FFW (@FrenchFtWeekly) March 10, 2015 It is wonderful news for France as Fekir follows in the footsteps of Zinedine Zidane and Karim Benzema in choosing Les Bleus over Les…

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One Year On: Chelsea Heavy Favourites Against Weakened PSG

One Year On: Chelsea Heavy Favourites Against Weakened PSG

When both Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea walk out onto the Parc des Princes pitch on Tuesday evening, both sides know they will have to be at their best to pick up a positive first leg result. Chelsea will only play six of the eleven that started the first leg last season, and due to injuries, Laurent Blanc will have to play eight of the side that won 3-1 last year. There is little doubt that…

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Olympique de Marseille v Stade de Reims: Preview

Olympique de Marseille v Stade de Reims: Preview

Stade de Reims are in a very rare group – they are one of the few clubs that Olympique de Marseille has actually beaten away from home this season. This does not bode well for Jean-Luc Vasseur and his team as they travel to the Stade Velodrome for Friday night’s fixture. Marcelo Bielsa’s team were at their imperious best when these sides met at the Stade Auguste Delaune in September. Marseille ran out comfortable 5-0 winners, but…

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Could Former Liverpool Boss Replace Blanc This Summer

Could Former Liverpool Boss Replace Blanc This Summer

Despite having relative success with Paris Saint-Germain over the last two seasons, it is looking very unlikely that Laurent Blanc will continue in his role next season. On Wednesday morning, Correiro dello Sport, suggests that former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez could be in running to leave Naples and become the new coach at Manchester City, Newcastle United or possibly return to Anfield. Recently Benitez has also been touted to replace Blanc in the Parisian hot…

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