Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | France

Lyon host defending champs Montpellier



French league leaders Lyon will aim to build on Wednesday's impressive 4-1 demolition of title-rivals Marseille when they host defending champions Montpellier this weekend.

Remi Garde's side returned to the Ligue 1 summit following their midweek victory at Stade Velodrome, a win punctuated by France striker Bafetimbi Gomis' first top-flight hat-trick.

"It's good, I will savour it, but we saw what happened in Toulouse (last weekend's 3-0 defeat) and we have to have humility and perform in the next game against Montpellier, who are never easy to play against," said a buoyant, but grounded Gomis.

Seeking their first title since the last of their seven consecutive triumphs in 2008, Lyon have a two-point lead over chasing Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille but their mettle will be tested in December with trips to Saint-Etienne and PSG also on the fixture list.

"I'm very happy to be top. It's not by chance, if we're there (in first place) we deserve it but there is still a long way to go, and difficult matches on the schedule," said Lyon boss Garde.

Montpellier's dreadful start to the season means their title defence is already effectively over, but Rene Girard's charges are currently enjoying their best run of form this term as they are unbeaten in five league outings.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return from a two-match suspension inspired PSG to a 4-0 rout of Troyes last Saturday, but the Parisians' dreams of a domestic treble were dashed in midweek as they suffered an agonising penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Saint-Etienne in the League Cup.

"The result wasn't what we expected, but this performance will give us confidence for the next match," a defiant Carlo Ancelotti said after his side's quarterfinal stage exit.

PSG will turn their focus back to the club's "No 1" objective – a third Ligue 1 title – when they travel to Nice on Saturday.

Victorious in three of their last four league matches, Claude Puel's Cote d'Azur outfit are enjoying a purple patch of form that has fueled their climb to 10th in the table after a barren run of just one win from their opening 10 fixtures.

Meanwhile, Elie Baup's Marseille will look to arrest a string of stuttering recent displays when they are in action at Brest on Sunday.

After starting the campaign with six straight wins, Marseille have subsequently recorded just two victories in eight attempts and dropped to third in the standings.

Fifth-placed Bordeaux will aim to keep pace with the frontrunners at Sochaux, while Valenciennes play promoted side Reims, whose form has tailed off dramatically after an impressive start.

Lille host Bastia in a rematch of Wednesday's League Cup encounter, which the northerners won 3-0 to clinch a spot in the semifinals, as basement side Nancy travel to Evian, who themselves are just one place above the relegation zone.

Saint-Etienne – unbeaten in their last nine league outings – can provisionally return to the top on Friday evening if they beat Ajaccio in Corsica, while Troyes play Rennes on Sunday, as Lorient take on Toulouse.

Fixtures:

Friday

Ajaccio v Saint-Etienne

Saturday

Lyon v Montpellier
Bordeaux v Sochaux
Evian v Nancy
Lille v Bastia
Nice v Paris Saint-Germain
Valenciennes v Reims

Sunday

Brest v Marseille
Troyes v Rennes
Lorient v Toulouse

Shop

Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R202.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Neil Tovey
Brockie - A striking example
Jeremy Brockie has only been in South Africa since January but has made a big impression.

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref in red card 'blunder'
In my last blog for supersport.com I stated that video technology is, more than ever, required to...

Sunday Oliseh
EPL goes to war with non-Euro foreigners
What will the Barclays Premier League be without foreigners today? Uninteresting to say the least...

Carol Radull
LVG has arrived
I said it a few weeks ago, that once Man United found their footing, it would be impossible to stop...

Segun Odegbami
Football is full of failed coaches
I admit that I am looking for trouble writing today about coaches. I do not really like discussing...

John Dykes
Ups and downs for Mersey managers
My thoughts have increasingly turned to Merseyside of late as Social Media has been abuzz with talk...