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Ligue 1 Preview Gameweek 16

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The games are coming thick and fast in Ligue 1 as another round of midweek fixtures get underway from Tuesday evening.

Angers v Paris Saint-Germain Date 01/12/2015 – Venue – Stade Jean Bouin – Kick Off 18:00 (UK Time)

It’s 1st versus 3rd at the Stade Jean Bouin as leaders PSG travel to Angers. The hosts won their seventh game of the season last weekend against Lille and it was important to get back to winning ways before their toughest test of the season. Angers will be full of confidence going into this one because their first season back in Ligue 1 has been full of surprises and they deserve to be at the top of the table despite a recent drop in form. No forced changes to the side that featured at the weekend means the same starting line-up may begin the game against PSG.

Les Parisians have established a 13-point lead at the top of the table and face a tough test at newly promoted Angers. They comfortably saw off Troyes in the previous game but they will need to be wary of the attacking threat of Angers. Gregory van der Weil may be sidelined with a back injury, while Javier Pastore and Marco Verratti are still out of action.

Lorient v Nice Date 01/12/2015 – Venue – Stade du Moustoir – Kick Off 18:00 (UK Time)

Nice will be looking to get over the loss at Toulouse very quickly but face an even more difficult away match at Lorient. Les Aiglons are 6th in the league and the three points could take them up to 3rd; a loss means Lorient will be level on points with them. Goalkeeper Mouez Hassen is suspended for the game after conceding a penalty and getting sent off in the previous game, while Ricardo Pereira is recovering from a knock and Hatem Ben Arfa is struggling to overcome flu symptoms; he would be a huge miss for Nice.

A win for Lorient would put them in touching distance of the European spots and there is no better time to play Nice, with them struggling for form and without some key players. The hosts are without some influential players themselves, with Lamine Gassama and Majeed Waris both suspended and Wesley Lautoa getting over an adductor strain.

Nantes v Lyon Date 01/12/2015 – Venue – Stade de la Beaujoire – Kick Off 20:00 (UK Time)

Both Nantes and Lyon have been struggling for form in the last couple of games; Lyon are on the end of consecutive defeats for the first time this season while Nantes have failed to win in their last three games. Les Canaris are 10th in the table and were involved in a goalless draw with Bastia at the weekend. This is their second home game of the week and they will be hoping to take advantage of a Lyon side that is far from its best. Alejandro Bedoya is suspended for Nantes, while Wilfried Moimbe is struggling with a meniscus problem and Adrien Thomasson and Birama Toure could also be sidelined.

Lyon will be looking to put the home loss to Montpellier at rest and get the three points at the Stade de la Beaujoire. Les Gones are still 4th in the league standings but have fallen 16 points behind leaders PSG due to the ruthless form of the Parisian side. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is out of this game with a suspension and goalkeeper Anthony Lopes could also be out with a hip injury. Mathieu Valbuena is also a doubt for Lyon after picking up a knock to the thigh.

Bastia v Bordeaux Date 02/12/2015 – Venue – Stade Armand Cesari – Kick Off 18:00 (UK Time)

Two struggling sides meet at the Stade Armand Cesari as 14th place Bordeaux travel to 17th place Bastia. The hosts are without a win in three matches but the goalless draw against Nantes last weekend saw them climb out of the relegation zone. The home crowd may be enough to get a result in this game against an out-of-form Bordeaux team. Yannick Cahuzac is suspended for Bastia and Sebastien Squillaci may be out of this game with a thigh injury.

The visitors were on the end of a crushing 4-1 home defeat to Caen last weekend and will be under pressure knowing a loss could see them overtaken by Bastia. On current form it doesn’t look like Bordeaux will be making the European spots this year, but they do have time to turn it around. They have a huge list of absentees however; Wahbi Khazri, André Biyogo Poko and Nicolas Pallois are suspended, while Frederic Guilbert, Pablo and Thomas Toure have been added to the injury list.

Guingamp v Reims Date 02/12/2015 – Venue – Stade du Roudourou – Kick Off 18:00 (UK Time)

Guingamp will be looking to get back into the top half of the table on Wednesday evening with three points against a Reims side without a win in seven outings. Jocelyn Gourvennec’s men lost to Saint-Étienne last time around; a game they weren’t really expected to win but this is a much bigger match for Guingamp. Lionel Mathis is a doubt for the home side, but other than this there are no further changes to the team news.

The visitors ended a six-game loss streak at the weekend but still failed to pick up maximum points with a draw against Rennes. They are now just 15th in Ligue 1 and only two points above the bottom three. Reims will be without the suspended Jaba Kankava and Diego Rigonato may also have to sit this one out after struggling with a back problem.

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Monaco v Caen Date 02/12/2015 – Venue – Stade Louis II – Kick Off 18:00 (UK Time)

The best match of this gameweek is at the Stade Louis II where Monaco welcome Caen and this has the potential to be a thriller. The visitors moved back up to 2nd in the league at the weekend after their emphatic win over Bordeaux, so they will be hoping to replicate their strong away performance once again. Alaeddine Yahia completes his suspension with this game but Caen could also be without Emmanuel Imorou, who is reportedly lacking match fitness.

Monaco were held to a draw by Marseille in the previous match, but will feel like they should have won the game after taking the lead on two occasions. The result of this is that instead of going into Wednesday’s match with Caen with a firm grasp on the European spots, they are 7th and really need to the three points to get into the top six and close the gap on Caen. Lacina Traore will miss this match through suspension and Jeremy Toulalan is set to begin his second week on the touchline with a thigh injury.

Montpellier v Gazélec Ajaccio Date 02/12/2015 – Venue – Stade de la Mosson – Kick Off 18:00 (UK Time)

There is a real six-pointer at the Stade de la Mosson as Gazélec travel to Montpellier. Both of these sides were struggling in the bottom three a couple of weeks ago but a remarkable turn of form sees Gazélec in 16th and Montpellier in 13th. The hosts are unbeaten in six and have won their last three, but this win would be the biggest because it would take them further away from the bottom three. Ramy Bensebaini is suspended for La Paillade, but there are no further forced alterations from the team that beat Lyon at the weekend.

Gazélec have been enjoying their recent run of form and before the draw with Lorient they had put four successive victories together. A win would not just take them above Montpellier, but it could possibly take them to 12th in the table. David Ducourtioux is suspended for this encounter and he could be a big miss as he is an integral part of the team, featuring in 14 league matches this season.

Troyes v Toulouse Date 02/12/2015 – Venue – Stade de l’Aube – Kick Off 18:00 (UK Time)

Another huge game was at the Stade de l’Aube because 20th place Troyes host 19th place Toulouse. There is currently seven points between the two sides so Toulouse may be more reserved than the hosts; Troyes really need to go all or nothing because a loss may see them in an irrecoverable position. Dusan Veskovac and Anele Ngcongca could both miss this match with adductor and ankle injuries respectively.

Although a win wouldn’t lift Toulouse out of the relegation zone, it would be a huge step towards their revival. They cannot afford to lose however as Troyes would close the gap and if they get their first Ligue 1 win of the season, they may go on a bit of a run. Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik faces his last game of his suspension, but there is no more relevant team news for Jean-Marc Furlan’s side.

Lille v Saint-Étienne Date 02/12/2015 – Venue – Stade Pierre-Mauroy – Kick Off 20:00 (UK Time)

This would have been a great prospect last season but Lille’s poor campaign by their standards suggests this is going to be a very one-sided affair. They have failed to win in any of their last six outings and the weekend’s defeat at Angers saw them slip into the relegation zone. Their defence has been a strong point, conceding the third-least amount of goals in the league, but they have only scored eight which is the joint-worst. Renato Civelli is suspended after getting sent off at the weekend and he could be a miss in Lille’s back line. Mounir Obbadi is also recovering from a toe injury.

Saint-Étienne made light work of Guingamp on Sunday and they will be fairly confident of getting maximum points in this match, despite Lille having the home advantage. Les Verts sit 5th in the league and a win could see them rise to 2nd if results go their way elsewhere. The only absentees for Saint-Étienne are Moustapha Bayal Sall through suspension and Benjamin Corgnet through an injury.

Rennes v Marseille Date 03/12/2015 – Venue – Roazhon Park – Kick Off 20:00 (UK Time)

A mid-table clash at Roazhon Park sees Marseille travel to Rennes. The home side are 8th in Ligue 1 and a win could well take them into the top six, but a loss would mean they would fall below Marseille. Marseille’s surge in form has come at the wrong time from a Rennes’ perspective, but Michel’s side’s lack of consistency this season will give the hosts hope. Giovanni Sio’s absence will still rock Rennes, and the possible losses of Fallou Diagne, Ludovic Baal and Sans Paul-Georges Ntep will be a frightening prospect for the side.

Marseille’s form looks to be replenished as they have faced a number of top sides in their last six matches and have lost just once, to Nice. Les Olympiens are 11th in Ligue 1 and a win would take them much closer to the European spots. With no notable absentees in the side, Michel may name the same starting eleven that face Monaco.

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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