Ligue 1 Preview: Lyon, Marseille look to extend strong start
By Football News
Seven-time French champions Lyon are the early pacesetters, having thrashed Nice 4-0 on the opening day of the new season at Stade de Gerland.
And they will be keen to keep their place at the top of Ligue 1 when they travel to take on Sochaux in the weekend's first game, which will take place on Friday.
Meanwhile, Marseille, who sit third having beat newly promoted Guingamp 3-1 in their first game, take on Evian at home in Saturday's early fixture.
Lyon and Marseille will hope to continue their encouraging starts to the new Ligue 1 campaign when the second round of fixtures get under way.
The attention of Ligue 1 observers this season is sure to be on the big-spending duo of Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, and both are in action at home for the first time on Sunday.
Reigning champions PSG will look to build on an opening-day 1-1 draw with 2011-12 Ligue 1 winners Montpellier when they face an Ajaccio side who only narrowly avoided relegation last term.
Monaco enjoyed a decidedly more impressive start to their first campaign back in Ligue 1 as they earned a 2-0 victory over Bordeaux, and will also be tested by Montpellier when they arrive at Stade Louis II.
The two other teams promoted last season, Guingamp and Nantes, are unlikely to harbour ambitions as big as Monaco, but will be keen to avoid an immediate return to the second tier.
Guingamp will look to recover from their defeat to Marseille when they face Saint-Etienne, while Nantes face Lorient having put an early three points on the board against Bastia.
Elsewhere in Ligue 1, Nice need to recover from their hammering by Lyon as they take on Rennes, while Toulouse and Bordeaux - who make up the rest of the early bottom three - face each other.
In other games on Saturday, high-flying Valenciennes travel to Bastia and Reims host Lille.