Your Ligue 1 best friend returns following the international break to give you all that you could possibly need to follow France’s top league this weekend.
Friday: Lyon (17th) vs Monaco (15th) (19:30 GMT)
This week’s action starts at the Stade de Gerland, with Lyon taking on Monaco. Both of these sides have struggled in the opening weeks of this campaign, so both teams will be desperate to take all three points in this match. Although they won their first league game of the season, Lyon have since lost the previous three and currently sit a lowly 17th place in the table.
Visitors Monaco have also made a less than impressive start to the season; losing their first two, although they have managed to pick up some points recently by defeating Nantes and drawing with Lille. Manager Leonardo Jardim will need his team to regroup quickly after the sales of star duo James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao and put a few wins together if they are to climb the table in the coming weeks.
– Lyon’s Jordan Ferri tops Ligue 1’s assist chart with three so far this season.
– Also, Alexandre Lacazette has scored three times in the league this season, second only to PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic (5).
– Monaco have conceded seven league goals this season, only Nice, Evian and Reims have let in more.
– Monaco did not lose a league game last season until Week 12, where they lost 2-0 away to Lille.
– Last season, Monaco won this fixture 3-2.
Saturday: Rennes (5th) vs PSG (2nd) (16:00 GMT)
The first match of Saturday sees champions PSG travel to the Stade de la Route de Lorient to take on Rennes. The hosts have responded well from their opening day defeat to Lyon; they are undefeated in their last three league games, and Philippe Montanier will be hoping their good form continues this weekend.
PSG may have started the season slowly, but their 5-0 demolition of St Etienne in their last match showed that they may have finally got up to speed. That performance was the kind they showed so many times last season on their way to becoming champions and if they keep that level of performance up this campaign, another league title will surely follow.
– Rennes have kept clean sheets in their last two league games.
– They defeated Evian 6-2 in their only home game so far this season.
– PSG have scored nine Ligue 1 goals this season, matched only by Bordeaux.
– They have also conceded just twice in the league, only Lille (1) have let in fewer this season.
– Last season, PSG won this fixture 3-1.
Saturday: Bastia (13th) vs Lens (11th) (19:00 GMT)
Bastia welcome Lens to the Stade Armand Cesari, with the visitors looking for their third consecutive league win. Bastia have had a tough start to the season with games against Marseille, PSG and league leaders Bordeaux all in the opening four weeks, but manager Claude Makelele will view this match as one his side should be winning, at home to a newly-promoted team.
Lens, though, will be far from easy to defeat. They have responded to defeats against Nantes and Guingamp by impressively beating Lyon and Reims, so Antoine Kombouare’s men will also view this game as one that is winnable.
– Bastia have taken four points from six at home this season, after beating Toulouse and holding Marseille to a draw.
– Their only league defeat so far has been a 2-0 loss to PSG in Week 2.
– Lens have won one and lost one on the road this season.
– They lost 1-0 away to Nantes on the opening day but did manage to defeat Lyon by the same scoreline in Week 3.
– The last time this fixture was played was in 2011/12 in Ligue 2. The match ended 2-2.
Saturday: Reims (19th) vs Toulouse (12th) (19:00 GMT)
Reims continue their search for their first league win of the season at home to Toulouse. Jean-Luc Vasseur has seen his team start the campaign with a four match winless run, although they have been pitched against some tough opponents such as PSG and St Etienne along the way. He will be hoping a home match against Toulouse can bring about a change in fortunes for his team.
Toulouse, meanwhile, will arrive at the Stade Auguste Delaune looking for their third win of the campaign. Alain Casanova’s side currently sit 12th in the table; he will be hoping for a similar campaign to last season, when Toulouse finished a respectable ninth.
– Reims have lost their last three league games.
– Their only point this season came at home, when they drew 2-2 with PSG on the opening day.
– Toulouse have won two and lost two so far this season.
– Both of those losses came away from home, away to Nice and Bastia.
– Last season, Toulouse won this match 2-1.
Saturday: Nice (16th) vs Metz (14th) (19:00 GMT)
Nice welcome Metz to the Allianz Riviera, with both teams looking for their second league win of the season. The home side’s only win came on the opening weekend, a 3-2 victory at home against Toulouse. They have been winless since and subsequently dropped down to 16th in the table. Claude Puel will be looking to rectify that by taking all three points this weekend.
Metz are in a similar situation. The newly-promoted club’s only win came in Week 4 at home to Lyon, a match that came after two draws and a loss in their opening three weeks. One of those draws did come away to Lille though, a result that would have been celebrated like a victory by Albert Cartier and the Metz fans.
– Nice have conceded a combined seven goals in their last two league games.
– They have scored just four league goals so far this campaign.
– Metz have taken one point from six available in away games this season.
– They lost 2-0 to Montpellier in their last away game.
– The last time this fixture was played was in 2007/08, when Nice won 3-1.
Saturday: St Etienne (8th) vs Caen (9th) (19:00 GMT)
St Etienne will look to bounce back from a resounding 5-0 defeat to PSG when they face Caen at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard. Up until that result, Christophe Galtier’s men were unbeaten and sitting second in the league, but a home match against a newly-promoted side should provide St Etienne with the perfect opportunity to put things right.
Caen, though, will be hoping to inflict a second shock result on Les Verts. The visitors have made a decent start to life back in Ligue 1 with two wins from four games and only narrowly lost 1-0 at home to Lille, but it will be a tough task for Patrice Garande’s men to take any points away with them this weekend.
– St Etienne have taken four points from six available at home in the league this season.
– They beat Reims 3-1 in Week 2 but were then held to a goalless draw by Rennes the following week.
– Caen have won both of their away games this season, beating Evian 3-0 and Reims 2-0.
– They currently have the best away record in the league.
– The last time this fixture was played was in 2011/12. St Etienne ran out 2-0 winners.
Saturday: Montpellier (10th) vs Lorient (6th) (19:00 GMT)
Montpellier will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they face Lorient at the Stade de la Mosson this weekend. The home side’s two match winning run was ended last time out away to Nantes, but Rolland Courbis’ side had looked impressive before that, especially in their 2-0 win over Marseille at the Stade Velodrome in Week 2. Courbis will be looking for his team to produce a performance similar to that this weekend.
Lorient, meanwhile, are heading into this match on the back of a great 4-0 win over Guingamp, which has left them in sixth position in the table. That result, coupled with the 2-1 win away to Monaco on the opening weekend has given Lorient fans plenty of optimism for the season ahead, starting with a trip to Montpellier.
– Montpellier have won one and lost one at home this season.
– They beat Metz 2-0 in Week 3, but lost to league leaders Bordeaux on the opening weekend.
– Lorient’s only defeat in the league this season came away to Lille in Week 3.
– They have conceded just three league goals so far this season.
– Last season, Lorient won this fixture 2-0.
Sunday: Lille (3rd) vs Nantes (7th) (13:00 GMT)
Lille will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league when they welcome Nantes to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Sunday afternoon. They may have failed to qualify for the Champions League after losing out to Porto, but their league form has been just as good as last season’s. Heading into this match, they sit third in the table, just two points behind leaders Bordeaux and level on points with PSG.
Nantes, meanwhile, have also had a solid start to the campaign with seven points from their opening four matches. They beat Montpellier 1-0 at home but Michel Der Zakarian knows his side will have to be at their best to take anything away from an in-form Lille side this weekend.
– Lille have scored just four goals in four games in the league so far this season, fewer than any other team in the top six.
– They do however have the best defence in the league, conceding only one goal so far.
– This has been the best start to a Ligue 1 campaign for Nantes since 2006/07, when they also had seven points from their first four games.
– Nantes have only conceded two goals themselves this season.
– Last season, this fixture finished as a goalless draw.
Sunday: Guingamp (18th) vs Bordeaux (1st) (16:00 GMT)
Struggling Guingamp’s season doesn’t get any easier as league leaders Bordeaux are the visitors to the Stade du Roudourou this weekend. The hosts have just one win to their name among three defeats so far this season and sit 18th in the table. They head into this match on the back of a heavy 4-0 loss away at Lorient.
Bordeaux, though, currently sit on top of Ligue 1, two points ahead of nearest rivals PSG and Lille. Willy Sagnol’s near perfect start to his managerial career has seen him win all but one of his league games so far this season; his side drew 1-1 with Bastia last time out. He will be expecting his side to return to winning ways here this weekend.
– Guingamp have the worst home record in the league this season, losing to St Etienne and Marseille.
– Their only win so far came in Week 2, a 1-0 victory away to Lens.
– Bordeaux have won both of their away games this season, beating both Montpellier and Nice.
– They have been top of the table since Week 2.
– Last season, Bordeaux ran out 1-0 winners here.
Sunday: Evian (20th) vs Marseille (4th) (20:00 GMT)
Bottom-of-the-table Evian welcome Marseille to the Parc des Sports in the final game of the weekend. They have taken just one point from their opening four games, although that point did come against reigning champions PSG in Week 3. Pascal Dupraz will be hoping his side can put in another good performance against a top side when Marseille visit this weekend.
Marseille will be hoping to put internal problems between coach and president to one side as they look to create headlines on the pitch rather than off it. A match against the team bottom of Ligue 1 should give Marcelo Bielsa’s team a platform for their third league win in a row, as long as the players on the pitch are more in sync than the men in charge.
– Guingamp have been bottom of the table ever since Week 1.
– They have scored just two goals in the league, while they have conceded 10.
– Marseille have scored eight goals in their opening four matches, a tally bettered only by Bordeaux and PSG.
– They have also kept clean sheets in their last two league games.
– Last season, Marseille won this fixture 2-1.