PREVIEW: Lille v Toulouse – Week 18

PREVIEW: Lille v Toulouse – Week 18

After the fans turned against the club on Thursday, there should be an interesting atmosphere at the Stade Pierre Mauroy on Sunday as Lille take on Toulouse. Poor decisions from René Girard didn’t help after Wolfsburg scored in the dying seconds of the first-half, but the players will be expected to show more fight and desire on Sunday. Toulouse have recently moved away from their trademark back three. Alain Casanova has changed to 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 and…

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PREVIEW: Nice v Saint-Etienne – Week 18

PREVIEW: Nice v Saint-Etienne – Week 18

Sunday’s Ligue 1 action kicks off at the Allianz Riviera as Claude Puel’s Nice host high-flying Saint-Etienne. After their fantastic 3-0 win over rivals Lyon, Les Verts are one of the in-form teams in the league right now, but will travel to the south of France after their defeat to Dnipro saw them eliminated from the Europa League. Last weekend Nice beat Caen 3-2 at the Stade Michel d’Ornano; it was their first win in six…

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PREVIEW: Nantes v Bordeaux – Week 18

PREVIEW: Nantes v Bordeaux – Week 18

Saturday afternoon’s fixture between FC Nantes and Girondins de Bordeaux at the Stade de Beaujoire sees two of Ligue 1’s most decorated sides try to stake a claim for European football next season. Both clubs have played a huge part in the growth of French football, but are now entering a new era with different aims and directions this season. Under new boss Willy Sagnol, Bordeaux are enjoying an excellent season. The fabulous start had…

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PREVIEW: Lyon vs SM Caen – Week 18

PREVIEW: Lyon vs SM Caen – Week 18

With no European football to distract them, Lyon kick Week 18 of the Ligue 1 season with a must-win home tie against Caen on Friday night. After defeat in the Derby du Rhone against Saint-Etienne, Les Gones have bounced back well, with wins over Stade de Reims and Evian Thonon Gaillard. They were made to work against the side from Annecy. Going behind twice is far from ideal, but they had their talisman, Alexandre Lacazette…

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Europa Euround-up : Beauvue brace keeps the Ligue 1 end up

Europa Euround-up : Beauvue brace keeps the Ligue 1 end up

The last group game in both European competitions and with only one team (PSG) sure of progressing to the next round, some tension in the air. The midweek of destiny was upon us. On Tuesday, Monaco welcomed Zenit St Petersburg to the Stade Louis II needing a point to progress, and ended up topping the group after a 2-0 win as Bayer Leverkusen downed tools and drew 0-0 away at Benfica. With a back four of…

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Philippe Montanier’s Rennes Project Finally Taking Shape

Philippe Montanier’s Rennes Project Finally Taking Shape

In the summer of 2013, Philippe Montanier surprised everyone with his decision to leave a Real Sociedad side on the rise in Spain’s La Liga for Stade Rennais who had just slumped to their lowest Ligue 1 finish in ten seasons. La Real had just qualified for the UEFA Champions League by finishing fourth, pipping Valencia to the final qualification spot by a single point. Rennes, conversely, had just been beaten in the Coupe de la…

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Cedric Barbosa’s One-Man Crusade Comes Up Short #FFWTOTW

Cedric Barbosa’s One-Man Crusade Comes Up Short #FFWTOTW

So, the big story of the weekend – as for most weekends recently – was the cat-and-mouse game played between PSG and OM as they fight for the top spot. PSG got to go first, and pulled off a 2-1 win over Nantes, who went ahead early doors with a wonderful strike from Alejandro Bedoya, but were then inevitably reeled in by a brace from Ibrahimovic, who seems personally affronted that he is not topping…

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Five-star Claudio Beauvue hero at the Roudourou #FFWTOTW

Five-star Claudio Beauvue hero at the Roudourou #FFWTOTW

The last set of mid-week fixtures before the winter break saw the three teams at the top searching for a last-minute winner, but only Alexandre Lacazette and Lyon – somewhat fortuitously – managed to find it. With just seconds remaining, Lacazette picked the ball up wide, his cross-come-shot was fired towards Johnny Placide and because it was hit with enough pace, the goalkeeper could only manage to punch it into his own net. The France…

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