Jura Sud Foot v AJ Auxerre – Preview

Jura Sud Foot v AJ Auxerre – Preview

This time last year, Jura-Sud missed a fantastic opportunity to reach the Coupe de France’s round of 16 for the first time in the club’s history, when they were beaten on the road by fifth tier Sete, despite playing one division above their rivals. One year later, the men from Lavans-les-Saint-Claude are given a second chance, this time in their home stadium but against a much tougher opposition: AJ Auxerre. Sure, Auxerre isn’t the team…

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Coupe de France Preview: USL Dunkerque v Stade Rennais

USL Dunkerque’s is a long story of up and downs. A long-term resident of France’s second division, the team from the Nord has been a regular victim of erratic management and off-pitch issues. Since their last collapse in 2010, however, Dunkerque have restructured themselves efficiently, and they are charging back up the French football pecking order with a vengeance. From the fifth tier (CFA2) in summer 2010, Dunkerque only needed three seasons to extract themselves…

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Coupe de France Preview: Dinan-Léhon vs EA Guingamp

When fifth-tier (CFA2) Dinan-Léhon’s players gathered to listen to the Coupe de France round 9 draw on the radio, they only had one wish: to face Breton and Cotes d’Armor neighbour En Avant Guingamp. And when the good news arrived, the joy in Dinan’s dressing room was to the measure of the task ahead. Dinan coach Jean-Jacques Houzé, a former Guingamp player himself, summed up the general feeling: “I am happy to face Guingamp, the…

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Coupe de France Preview: Jura Sud Foot v FC Saint-Louis Neuweg

Unless you have a particular interest in regional football in the east of France, you are likely to be perfectly unfamiliar with both the teams of Jura Sud Foot and FC Saint-Louis Neuweg. Yet, in Alsace and Franche-Comte, the two share an ambitious vision in which strongly developed youth training infrastructures are the key towards a mid-term objective of reaching the National division. Based in Moirans and born from the merging of several local teams, Jura…

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Preview: Paris Saint-Germain v Saint-Etienne – Out of the frying pan and into the fire

Preview: Paris Saint-Germain v Saint-Etienne – Out of the frying pan and into the fire

This is, without a doubt, the first major clash in this new Ligue 1 season. As Saint-Etienne travel to Ligue 1’s double title-holders, Paris Saint-Germain, Les Verts have been enjoying a near-perfect start to the season, while Laurent Blanc’s men are experiencing their usual – relative – slow start in the top flight competition. With convincing victories at Guingamp and against Reims, followed by a goalless draw against a very defence-minded Rennes, Saint-Etienne are now entering…

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Yohan Cabaye the architect in France’s 3-0 win over Honduras

Yohan Cabaye the architect in France’s 3-0 win over Honduras

It can be said now: the big question about France’s opening game in the 2014 World Cup was never really about winning or losing, but rather how convincingly Les Bleus could play and triumph against Group E’s clear underdogs, Honduras. And it is fair to say that although the difference in quality was obvious from kick-off, and despite what the comfortable scoreline suggests, France’s 3-0 victory turned out to be a real test of character…

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Guillermo Ochoa: Hoping for that one chance at glory

Guillermo Ochoa: Hoping for that one chance at glory

When an injury to Club América’s veteran goalkeeper Adolfo Ríos allowed him his professional debut in the 2004 Mexican Clausura tournament, 18-year old goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa didn’t think twice. Within weeks, he had shown he was up for the challenge. Within months, he had proved he was something much more special than just another young goalkeeper. Within two years, in fact, ‘Memo’ Ochoa was part of Ricardo LaVolpe’s squad for the World Cup in Germany! The…

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The Black Star Who’s More Than Just a John Boye

The Black Star Who’s More Than Just a John Boye

At 27, John Boye has reached a critical point of his career, both for club and country. A few weeks after his contract with Rennes expired, putting an end to a six year-stint at the Breton club, the Ghanaian centre-back was included in James Appiah’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Brazil. A fair reward for a player whose hard work and irreproachable ethics have convinced most in Rennes, despite rather chaotic debuts. Let’s…

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