• Friday, 10 September 2010

    Ligue 1 round 5 previews

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

    With the national side back to winning ways in midweek, there's an almost an air of positivity around the hexagon as we get back to league action. Toulouse lead the way by an impressive five points and they've managed it without any strikers. Rather, Daniel Braaten is operating on his own up front and Etienne Didot is chipping in from midfield. It's working, but you wonder for how much longer. St Etienne have also started well and are a lot higher up in the standings than has been the norm over the last few years. This will be a decent test of both sides credentials. Clever money says a TFC win though. Rennes and Montpellier lead the chase with Sochaux tucked in behind - it's all a bit odd at the moment. Rennes begin life after Asamoah Gyan against Sochaux in an unlikely top-of-the-table clash while Montpellier are at home to Nancy. Caen lost for the first time two weeks ago and take on Auxerre who have been struggling domestically despite making it to the Champions League group stages.

    There's a big derby between Lens and Lille which should be a lively affair. Lille have drawn all four games so far this season and need to get a wriggle on if they're going to make an impact this season. Brest got a win last time out and face Lorient this week while Arles' search for their first points goes on in the capital. They're already four points adrift at the bottom and it looks like being a very long season for the Avignon faithful.

    That leaves us with the big boys, only one of whom is even in the top half. That's Marseille, and then only just. They lie tenth and take on Monaco this weekend who have yet to taste defeat. Lyon take on Valenciennes who have ground out some valuable points already and Bordeaux are at Nice. Wisely tipped as championship front-runners, Lyon, Bordeaux and Marseille surely have too much talent in the ranks to languish in the lower reaches for too much longer, but with Marseille already eight points off the pace, they'd best get a move on.

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