France’s two most successful clubs this century, Paris Saint Germain and Olympique Lyon, find themselves under pressure to perform when Ligue One action resumes this weekend.
Lyon welcome newly promoted Reims to Stade Lyonnais on Friday night keen to appease fans following Tuesday’s shock 1-2 exit at the hands of Strasbourg in a French Coupe de La Ligue quarter final tie.
Bruno Genesio’s side were a tad unlucky to fall to the Alsace region kingpins, as they hit the woodwork thrice. Genesio’s instructions to his players will be to avoid feeling sorry for themselves if they are to make ground in the race for Champions League positions.
Champagne country outfit Reims are to have a busy night thwarting the hosts’ exuberant attack featuring Nabil Fekir, Moussa Dembele and Memphis Deepay.
In Amiens, the hosts expect to compete favourably against runaway league leaders PSG, who are still smarting from Wednesday’s cup exit at the hands of basement club Guingamp.
Thomas Tuchel’s Parisians are slowing down after a blistering opening third of the season that saw them register fifteen consecutive league victories. Defeat to Guingamp was PSG’s first loss in a domestic cup competition in four years and came on the back of league draws at Bordeaux and Strasbourg.
After averaging over three goals per game in the first 15 games, PSG’s goals have dried up. They could only muster a 1-0 win over Nantes in their solitary Ligue One triumph over the last one month, whereas they were held to one-all draws at Bordeaux and Strasbourg.
However, fireworks are anticipated in the Southern France derby as Rudi Garcia’s off colour Olympique Marseille battle Thierry Henry’s beleaguered Monaco.
Following a chequered beginning to his managerial career, on Tuesday night Henry got a huge shot in the arm on when the principality club outlasted Rennes on spot kicks to reach the Coupe Del La Ligue semis.
Marseille are meanwhile hoping to atone for last weekend’s French Cup exit at the hands of a lower division minnow. Mouthwatering action lies in store at Stade Velodrome as household names like Dmitri Payet, Florian Thauvin, Aleksandr Golovin, Radamel Falcao and Kostas Mitroglou are all expected to feature.
Caen vs Lille @9pm
Olympique Lyon v Reims @10:45pm
Amiens v Paris Saint Germain @7pm
Nice v Bordeaux @10pm
Guingamp v Saint Etienne @10pm
Nimes vs Angers *pp
Nantes vs Rennes @5pm
Dijon v Montpellier @7pm
Toulouse v Strasbourg @7pm
Olympique Marseille v Monaco @11pm