pressure on the lawns, calm hoped for in the stands this weekend

By with AFP

Paris SG, Lille and Lyon advance under pressure this weekend in Ligue 1, in particular the Parisian coach Mauricio Pochettino, more and more contested before a 15th day during which French football hopes to avoid new overflows in the stands

The player: Jonathan David

No vacation for Jonathan David: since the start of the season, the Lille striker shines with his efficiency and consistency. He scored against RB Salzburg (1-0) on Tuesday, a victory that brought his team closer to the knockout stages of the Champions League. « I live (this period) very well personally, but the most important for me is always the victory », insisted the Canadian international.

In the league, the top scorer in L1 (10 goals) has scored more than half of Lille’s goals, but the collective results do not follow: the Mastiffs, who remain on five days without winning, vegetate in 12th place before the reception from Nantes on Saturday (5 p.m.).

The coach: Mauricio Pochettino

The atmosphere became tense around Paris SG coach Mauricio Pochettino, who had a bad week. In question, a logical defeat in the Champions League on the ground of Manchester City (2-1), Wednesday, which underlined the delay that his team showed against the best European formations. The press severely judged the tactical copy of « Pocket », to the point of asking the question of its future in the capital and evoking contacts between the club and Zinédine Zidane. The Argentinian assured « to be happy » in Paris in response to rumors relayed by the British and French media sending him next season to Manchester United.

A victory with the manner at Saint-Etienne on Sunday (1 p.m.), where he led his first match on the Paris bench last January, would be the best way for him to come out on top of this difficult streak, especially if the experienced defender Sergio Ramos, summer reinforcement finally operational, made his debut in the Parisian jersey.

The number: 4

Lyon travels badly. OL remain in L1 over four away matches without a win, each time with a scenario that is difficult to digest. Facing PSG (2-1), Saint-Etienne (1-1) and Nice (3-2), the Lyonnais were beaten or joined in added time. In Rennes (4-1), the magnitude of the score questioned the level of play and the mentality of Gones. What is Lyon really worth, programmed to play the podium? Tenth in the standings, Lucas Paqueta’s teammates could not provide an answer against Marseille last Sunday, the match having been interrupted after the throwing of a plastic bottle by a supporter on Dimitri Payet.

They will have to quickly regain their marks on Sunday (5 p.m.) in Montpellier, where striker Moussa Dembélé could return to L1 after two months of absence due to a fibula injury. Because Nice, Marseille and Rennes, other candidates for the podium, each play against teams at the bottom of the table, respectively Metz, Troyes and Lorient, and could widen the gap on OL this weekend.

The sanction: behind closed doors in Marseille

Sanctioned by the disciplinary committee for the excesses of the classic against PSG in October (0-0), Marseille served Sunday a game behind closed doors with the reception of Troyes. This is starting to become a bad habit for the Olympians, already forced to play without an audience this season in the replay match against Nice (1-1), rescheduled in Troyes after serious incidents in August at the Allianz Riviera.

But it is the sad daily life of Ligue 1 this season, shaken by a series of violent outbursts in the stands, the most recent to date last Sunday during OL – OM, which have also earned a total closed-door sanction to conservatory title at the Lyon club.

All French football is hoping for a weekend without further incidents, as the government works on proposals by mid-December to improve stadium security.


Friday : Lens – Angers (21 hours)
Saturday : Lille – Nantes (17 hours); Nice – Metz (21 hours)
Sunday : Saint-Etienne – Paris SG (13 hours); Bordeaux – Brest, Monaco – Strasbourg, Lorient – Rennes, Reims – Clermont (15 hours); Montpellier – Lyon (5 p.m.); Marseille – Troyes (8:45 p.m.)

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