• Friday, 27 August 2010

    Ligue 1 round 4 previews

    Lorient v Lyon
    St Etienne v Lens
    Valenciennes v Montpellier
    Arles v Rennes
    Nancy v Toulouse
    Caen v Brest
    Monaco v Auxerre
    Lille v Nice
    Sochaux v PSG
    Bordeaux v Marseille

    The big news this week was the frankly unbelievable transfer of Yoan Gourcuff to Lyon. What's even better is that his first game in an OL jersey will be against his father's side. Yes, Christian Gourcuff is the gaffer at Lorient and that's who the Team Of The Century (So Far)™ take on this weekend. In the draw in Monaco this week, Lyon got a good group. Struggling Benfica, lowly Hapoel Tev Aviv and the always unpredictable Schalke 04 - we reckon Lyon fancy that. Mind, their league form has been pisspoor so they'd better buck up quick and why not this week against Lorient? Few would give you odds on father bettering son.

    The other UCL representatives, Marseille and Auxerre, both got tricky draws. Auxerre looked good in turning a first leg deficit aginst Zenit to reach the group stages. Howeverm they copped for Real Madrid, AC Milan and Ajax. It's going to be tough to even avoid finishing bottom of that group, but this week they're in Monaco. Both sides have drawn all three games so far, so smart money says 0-0 there. It's a tougher deal to call Marseille's UCL group. They've got MSK Zilina, Spartak Moscow and Chelsea. They must fancy going through, but again they've been rotten domestically. Maybe finally getting shut of Hatem Ben Arfa - finally set to join Newcastle - might help. Disruptive elements not required. They take on Bordeaux this week in what should be a battle of the big boys but takes on the sheen of a relegation six-pointer. Take your pick there.

    Caen look good to pick up three more points against Brest to keep up the chase on TFC. Les Violets take on Nancy and they're beginning to look reliant on Daniel Braaten now. If the big Norwegian fails, then they've got massive issues. Montpellier look good for victory at VA while Les Verts of St Etienne will do similar against RC Lens. More misery for Arles-Avignon, sad to say, as Rennes visit Le Parc des Sports and Nice have a long and ultimately futile trip north to Lille. PSG are at Sochaux, which they ought to win having come through a fraught Europa League qualifier in midweek. Should be a belter this week. Strap in.

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