• Friday, 16 January 2009

    This week in Ligue 1

    Grenoble v Lyon
    Marseille v Le Havre
    St Etienne v Le Mans
    Lorient v Valenciennes
    Nice v Auxerre
    Toulouse v Nancy
    Nantes v Bordeaux

    Caen v Monaco
    PSG v Sochaux
    Lilles v Rennes

    It's one of those weeks where none of the big guys are facing each other. Of the championship contenders, Lyon look to have an easy-ish one away at Grenoble who are plummeting after a bright start and have severe financial problems. Only the Alpine weather may frustrate the champions, although they're without Sidney Govou, out for the season with a buggered Achilles. Marseille have two new strikers on board for the home game against rock bottom Le Havre. Sylvain Wiltord and Brandão both joined this week from Rennes and Shakhtar Donetsk respectively, although the club have allowed international defender Gaël Givert to go to Blackburn on loan with an option on making it permanent.
    Sochaux are coming off the back of a win against fellow strugglers St Etienne last week, but PSG should have too much for them. Watch out for young forward Guillaume Hoarau. He's not Karim Benzema, but he ain't far off. Rennes v Lille sees two sides unbeaten in five against one another, so expect a draw. Lorient ought to see off Valenciennes, Le Mans should fill their boots against a confidence-shorn St Etienne and Bordeaux should see off Nantes. Nancy are on a decent run and will provide a decent test for Toulouse and Auxerre really need the points at Nice. It won't be easy as Nice have claimed some notable scalps already this season and sit nicely in mid-table. Recent form is patchy, but Auxerre's is worse. It won't be pretty, that one.

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