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Ligue 1 Preview Gameweek 3

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Nice v Caen
Date 22/08/2015 – Venue – Allianz Riviera – Kick Off 19:00 (UK Time)

Nice have struggled to get off the mark in the early stages of the season, earning only one point from their games against Monaco and Troyes. They will feel disheartened with last week’s result after conceding in injury time to only get a draw at the Stade de l’Aube, having been two goals up with 15 minutes to go. Mahamane Traore could be out of this game after leaving the field in the first half against Troyes.

Caen are the final team with a 100% record so far this season, sitting in 3rd place below PSG and Reims. After 1-0 wins against Marseille and Toulouse it can be said that Caen have developed a strong and well-disciplined defence and it is vital that they maintain this going into the tougher matches. Emmanuel Imorou is a doubt for this game after picking up a calf strain in the previous game, but other than him Caen have the rest of the team who started last week available.

Toulouse v Monaco
Date 22/08/2015 – Venue – Stadium Municipal – Kick Off 19:00 (UK Time)

Toulouse go into this game in 10th on the back of the defeat to Caen, and they could be without Uros Spajic and Aleksandar Pesic who are both completing their suspensions this weekend. It will be a difficult game for the hosts as Monaco have approached this season adding new attacking flair to blend with one of Ligue 1’s strongest defences.

Monaco will be without Joao Moutinho however, a player who pulls the strings for Monaco’s attack playing behind the strikers. He is sidelined for up to six weeks with an ankle injury and his quality will be missed in Monaco’s next few games. It would be no surprise if Stephan El Shaarawy or Anthony Martial were called into the starting eleven to take up a central role, as they were both subbed on in last week’s goalless draw against Lille.

Lille v Bordeaux
Date 23/08/2015 – Venue – Stade Pierre-Mauroy – Kick Off 13:00 (UK Time)

Neither Lille’s nor Bordeaux’s season has really got underway yet, as they both sit in the bottom half of the table with Bordeaux in 15th and Lille in 16th with one point each. Lille will be without the injured Sebastien Corchia, but he is the only expected change from Les Dogues’ starting line-up. They have only conceded one goal in their first two games, but they are yet to score themselves and Herve Renard will be expecting his strikers to step up this Sunday.

Bordeaux have had a tough start to the season with games against Reims and Saint-Étienne, though they are teams they should arguable be beating if they want to compete for the European spots. They have no new injury concerns and will look at this game as a great way to kick-start their campaign.

Lorient v Saint-Étienne
Date 23/08/2015 – Venue – Stade du Moustoir – Kick Off 16:00 (UK Time)

Lorient and Saint-Étienne are also both yet to win this season. Lorient are 12th in the league following an impressive opening draw against Lyon and another draw against a stronger Bastia side. The team will be relying on the home crowd to give them another boost against a struggling Saint-Étienne team. One major injury problem is the loss of striker Majeed Waris who could be out for three weeks with a fractured hand, as the Ghanaian is sidelined after only just joining the club from Trabzonspor.

Saint-Étienne travel to the Stade du Moustoir on the back of two disappointing results; a defeat to Toulouse and a draw with Bordeaux. For a side expecting to be competing for the top six, Les Verts are not playing well enough as they are leaking goals and missing Max Gradel in attack after his departure to the Premier League. They will need to use this game as a springboard to move up the table and with no concerns over their first team squad; they should be able to take advantage of another struggling side in Lorient.

Marseille v Troyes
Date 23/08/2015 – Venue – Stade Vélodrome – Kick Off 20:00 (UK Time)

The final match of the weekend sees Marseille welcome newly promoted Troyes to the Stade Vélodrome; a game which Marseille must win to rescue the hopes of their season. Marseille are only off the bottom of the table at the expense of Montpellier, which is something shocking for a team who finished 4th last season. They haven’t scored a goal so far this season and have lost to both Caen and Reims, so they need a result here to avoid falling behind just three games into the campaign. The only change from last week’s game is the suspended Alaixys Romao who was sent off against Reims, but there may be a shape-up of the team after another poor performance.

Troyes have had a respectable start to the season, drawing their opener with Gazélec and pulling off a dramatic comeback against Nice last weekend to leave them 11th in the table. They will be looking to hurt Marseille on Sunday evening as they are well-equipped to pull off another shock and steal a result from one of the European contenders. They are without the suspended left-back Chris Mavinga who received two yellow cards in the game last week. Thiago Xavier and Fabien Camus may come into the starting eleven to face Marseille after their goals from the substitutes’ bench earned their team a point last week.

About Mark Sheppard

I am an 18-year-old Journalism and Media student at De Montfort University, Leicester. I enjoy writing, especially about sport because my interests involve football, snooker, rugby, F1 and tennis.

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Photo Credit: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images.


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