Ligue 1, Matchday 7: The games you don’t want to miss!By: Sarah | September 25th, 2010
Ligue 1, Matchday 7 fixtures courtesy of the LFP
So many games, so little time! Here are some recommendations of the games you don’t want to miss and why they matter!
Nice vs Rennes: Coming into this game, Rennes have the best defensive record in the league, only allowing in two goals. With a little help from Lyon and Lille, Rennes could possible steal the 1st place spot at the top of the table. The only sit a point behind the top teams (Saint-Etienne and Toulouse) and have the same goal difference. Rennes also have the advantage of consistency and stability, having not lost a game yet this season. Nice, on the other hand, is a bit of a wild card. They beat Lorient and Bordeaux while drawing with Valenciennes and Nancy before losing 4-0 to Sochaux last weekend. Nice have never had the reputation for stability- but they seemed to be thriving after Loic Remy left for Marseille. Winning this game versus Rennes might be the thing Nice need to prevent the slide down in the table that most critics predicted at the start of the season.
Caens vs Bordeaux: This season, Caen have already pulled off wins against 2 of the last 3 title winners (Marseille and Lyon). Not bad for a team that is enjoying Ligue 1 for the first time since being promoted. Will they make it a perfect hat-trick and beat Bordeaux as well? Or will Bordeaux continue the momentum they established last week by beating Lyon? On paper, Bordeaux are undoubtedly the stronger team – but that didn’t intimidate Caen when they played Marseille on Day 1 (2-1) and Lyon on Matchday 2 (3-2). Caen have the league’s 2nd most prolific goal scorer at the moment in Youssef El-Arabi, who has scored 4 goals in 4 different games (Marseille, Lyon, Auxerre and Lorient). Need I remind you that the first three teams he scored against were the top 3 teams in the league last year? Bordeaux have been less prolific in front of goal. Their top scorer, Alou Diarra, is a holding midfielder who has scored 2 from set pieces (surprise, surprise – its Bordeaux!). New striker, Modeste, who was purchased to replace Chamakh, also has 2. Jussie has only scored one this year for the Girondins – but the one he scored vs Lyon was so beautiful, I feel like it should count for more! : )
Toulouse vs Lille: TFC enjoyed a strong start to the season, achieving the maximum 12 points in August (Brest, Bordeaux, Arles, Nancy). That pace has slowed in September. After losing to Saint-Etienne at home, they only managed a draw with Monaco before losing this week in the Coupe de la Ligue competition to Ligue 2 team Boulogne. They now face a Lille team who seems to be gaining strength after accumulating 4 consecutive draws at the beginning of the season (Rennes, PSG, Sochaux, Nice). They have now won their last two games (Lens, Auxerre) and more than doubled the amount of goals they scored in the first four weeks of the league (2 goals in first 4 matchdays, 5 goals in matchdays 5 & 6). Now just 3 points separate these two teams in the table. Both teams will be missing some personnel from suspensions and injuries. Toulouse is without Tabanou (suspension), m’Bengue (hamstring), Pentecote (knee) and Larsen (hamstring). Lille will miss Debuchy (suspension), Beria (ankle), Chedjou (quadriceps) and Tulio Del Melo (buttocks).
Lyon vs Saint-Etienne: Its the Rhone Derby! And it is finally exciting! Unlike in years past where Lyon dominated the rivalty – Saint-Etienne are in prime position to beat Lyon at home, a feat they haven’t accomplished in a decade. Saint-Etienne sit on top of the table in first place and Lyon have struggled to show their quality in Ligue 1 this season. Unfortunately, the league’s top goal scorer, who plays for Saint-Etienne, was injured in mid-week Lyon seems to be rife with discontent – the players don’t look motivated and the fans are calling for Puel’s head (sometimes, literally!). Will this be the match that ends Lyon’s season – or is this just the type of game they need to turn things around? I’m not sure – but I’m really looking forward to finding out!
Loic Remy looks likely to make his debut at the Velodrome today. Remy, who transferred to Marseille this summer from Nice, played in an away game at Bordeaux but was injured shortly after while playing for France against Belarus. A few (long) weeks later – he will finally be introduced to the Velodrome crowd tonight! Will he score a goal to cap off that debut?
Before Matchday 7, only 3 teams in Ligue 1 remained undefeated: Rennes, Lille and Monaco.