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Ligue 1 Preview Gameweek 9

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A number of top and bottom of the table clashes in Ligue 1 this weekend could see a real shift in the league positions, and with several sides being involved in European football there could be one or two surprise results.

Lille v Montpellier
Date 02/10/2015 – Venue – Stade Pierre-Mauroy – Kick Off 19:30 (UK Time)

Struggling Lille go into this game in desperate need of three points. After failing to win their game in hand against Nantes on Tuesday they have fallen to 16th in the league just three points above the bottom three. Les Dogues go into this match knowing a loss to Montpellier could see them drop into the relegation zone pending the rest of the weekend’s results. Adama Soumaoro, Florent Balmont and Vincent Enyeama are still doubtful and Junior Tallo is awaiting fitness results ahead of the game.

The visitors are looking to earn their second win of the season following the impressive victory over Lorient last time around. With his side now in 18th and feeling more confident, Rolland Courbis will look to take advantage of a Lille side who have also only won once this season. One blow for Montpellier is Kevin Berigaud who will be sidelined for at least two months with a knee ligament injury, in addition to Mathieu Deplagne who could also miss this match through injury.

Lyon v Reims
Date 03/10/2015 – Venue – Stade de Gerland – Kick Off 16:30 (UK Time)

One of the better games of the weekend is at the Stade de Gerland where Lyon host in-form Reims. The home side lost their last game against Bordeaux and this saw them drop to 8th in the league standings, and following their home loss to Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday they won’t be as positive going into this match as they would have preferred. Les Gones also have a long injury list; the more recent of which being Sergi Darder being sidelined alongside Henri Bedimo, Nabil Fekir, Rafael and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

Reims are 4th in the league and are still putting some great performances together, extending their unbeaten run to five games. The teams above them also have tough games at the weekend so they have a great opportunity to put some pressure on the leaders who play on Sunday. A big miss for the visitors is Aissa Mandi who is out for over a month with a knee injury; Mandi has been involved in seven of Reims’ eight league matches this season.

Angers v Bastia
Date 03/10/2015 – Venue – Stade Jean Bouin – Kick Off 19:00 (UK Time)

5th placed Angers will look to heap more pressure on the top four on Saturday as they arguable have the most comfortable fixture out of the top sides. They host Bastia who lost four consecutive games before last weekend’s 3-0 victory over Toulouse. Angers have nothing to fear after taking four points from their last two games against Reims and Marseille; pulling off a shock victory at the Stade Vélodrome last week. The hosts have Cheikh N’Doye returning now he has completed his suspension but Giles Sunu could still be out with his injury.

Bastia’s losing streak saw them fall into the bottom half of the table but they are now 11th following the morale-boosting win against Toulouse. They face a tough test at Angers but a result isn’t out of reach as they have already performed well against some strong teams this season. Axel Ngando and Yassine Jebbour are recovering from strains while Alexander Djiku and Francois Kamano could still be sidelined with fractures for Bastia.

Gazélec Ajaccio v Toulouse
Date 03/10/2015 – Venue – Stade Ange Casanova – Kick Off 19:00 (UK Time)

The pressure is on Gazélec as they go into this game knowing a defeat could see them drift further away from safety. They are currently bottom of the league on two points and they face Toulouse who are already five points above them in 17th. With Montpellier finally winning a game Gazélec need to grind out a result and there is no better game to do it than this one as Toulouse haven’t won since the opening day of the season. The hosts are without the suspended Pablo Martinez and Jerome Le Moigne while Amos Youga is still injured.

Toulouse may see this as a potentially difficult game but it is one they should be winning to get back on track in the league. They are without some big names however as Oscar Trejo is still serving a suspension and Mauro Goicoechea has recently been ruled out with a hand injury that could keep him out for three weeks; Goicoechea has participated in every one of Toulouse’s league matches thus far.

Nice v Nantes
Date 03/10/2015 – Venue – Allianz Riviera – Kick Off 19:00 (UK Time)

Nice are in imperious form at the moment; moving up to 7th after winning three consecutive games and scoring 13 goals to make them Ligue 1’s top goal scorers. They host Nantes at the Allianz Riviera and it could be a great game with the visitors getting the three points at Lille on Tuesday. Nice are still suffering from a couple of injury issues and Claude Puel wasn’t helped by Nampalys Mendy and Maxime Le Marchand who were dismissed in the game at Saint-Étienne last weekend.

The visitors avoided being dragged towards the bottom three after earning a narrow victory at Lille on Tuesday. This is a very difficult game however as Lille were struggling to score whereas Nice are firing goals in every game. Les Canaris are 14th in the table and a win could take them into the top half of the league for the first time since the opening three matches. Nantes have no new injury concerns this week meaning Michel Der Zakarian could name an unchanged side.

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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