Preview: Ligue 1

Mlu Mdletshe takes a look at the state of each club in the French Ligue 1 ahead of the International Break.

Four match weeks into the new Ligue 1 season, and we’re already seeing the high level of competition that we’re in this term! We are heading into the two-week international break, with Monaco sitting at the summit while Olympic Lyon are rooted to the bottom of the standings.

Here’s a brief look into the state of Ligue 1 ahead of the FIFA break:

Log leaders Monaco inflicted heavy defeats to Clermont Foot, Strasbourg and Lens while only dropping points against Nantes in a thrilling 3-3 encounter. Adolf Hutter’s men have been near-perfect at the start of the season, scoring three or more goals in all four games played so far. More so, they are playing some attractive football and are incredible hard to defend against.

Trying to keep the pressure on them are PSG, Marseille, Reims, Lille and Brest who all sit within three points from top of the table. Like Monaco, PSG and Marseille are also yet to lose a league match this season as they sit level on 8 points after both winning and drawing twice. Reims, Lille and Brest round up the top 6 with one defeat per side, but Brest will be very happy with the way they started the campaign after finishing in 14th position last season.

Rennes coach Bruno Genesio will feel his men have taken the foot off the pedal after a convincing 5-1 victory over Metz in their opener, but the team have followed that up with three consecutive draws, including being held to a 2-2 draw by 10-man Le Havre in August. And while they haven’t lost in the league yet, they are in danger of being leapfrogged by a number of teams below them, particularly Nice who registered their first win of the season last time out against Strasbourg.

Lebo Mothiba’s side are 9th as a result of two wins and two defeats in the league. The South African has opened his goal account after netting the winner against Lyon on opening day. After a few disappointing results, Le Havre have finally recorded their first win of the season – a 3-0 victory over Lorient which will boost their confidence going into the international break. Lorient and Toulouse make up the rest of the mid-table as they both sit with five points from four matches.

Both sides will be eager to return to league action, and mark their returns with victories and start climbing up the table.

At the bottom-end sit Metz who narrowly avoided relegation last season. Their only win of the season came when they beat Clermont Foot by 1-0 to extend Foot’s woes and ensure that they head into the break wit just one point.

Montpellier will be disappointed at their start after working so hard to end the season in an advanced position. They also have one win so far, and are far from convincing me that they will avoid relegation this season.

Nantes, Clermont Foot, Lens and Lyon are all winless this season and deservedly sit at the bottom of the standings. Lyon and Lens will be the far worse of the sides, conceding 10 goals from their four games played.

All signs point to an entertaining, drama-packed and even more unpredictable Ligue 1 season ahead, with Monaco looking to unseat PSG as France’s top club!

Written by Mlu Mdletshe