Strasbourg France Sports
Paris Saint-Germain will be desperate to get back on track when they host rivals Lyon at the Stade de France on Sunday when the first game of the new season kicks off. The visitors are looking to avoid a relegation scrap before the winter break and avoid a return to the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2014.
Stephane Moulin's side secured a 1-1 draw against Nantes, while Marseille also picked up a point from their clash with Reims on Saturday. Strasbourg's unbeaten streak ended against Bordeaux and the hosts play Saint-Etienne, who extended their unbeaten streak to five games with a draw in Nimes. The hosts ended this series with a 0-0 draw at the Stade de France last week, while Saint Etienne extended their run of four wins and one draw in their last four games with a 2-2 draw against Saint-Etienne.
Lille may be too strong for the hosts, Montpellier may lack the offensive quality to trouble the visitors in the changeover. Lyon are unbeaten in 15 games, with a 2-0 win over Saint-Etienne last week, with Memphis Depay scoring twice. PSG leapfrogged second-placed Lille into second place after their 2-1 home win but may need a win to stay in the top flight after Christmas.
LOSC are also a potential sacrificial lamb in their quest for financial stability, having lost their competitive advantage both domestically and on the continent. Lyon, PSG and Lille are not the only clubs who could be in business this winter. OGC could also choose talent at the right price, but given the challenges they face in trying to survive in the French top flight this season, it may well be that a club like Milan will switch for Simakan and secure an important part of their future at a very reasonable price.
Strasbourg have signed Mohamed Simakan, another central defender who has attracted interest from a number of clubs, notably Paris Saint-Germain. The French outfit's squad, who play an important role in survival, could be financed by a sale. Strasbourg, in this season's top flight, cannot imagine a fourth successive win for their team if they fail to regain form after dropping out of the Champions League, but a commitment could make all the difference in the battle for a top-four place.
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Strasbourg is known for its Coupe de France in 1951, 1966 and 2001 and has also had a good run in European competitions having played in the UEFA Cup in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
After winning the Ligue 1 title in 1997, the public vetoed it when the good times came. After a long absence, which lasted nine years, he managed to get promoted to the Premier League in 2004. After experiencing financial difficulties and no longer being able to achieve sustainable stability under his leadership, he knew his financial hardship and was relegated to Ligue 2 in 2006.
Tuchel was also quoted as saying he felt 'very bad' about his first season in the French capital. However, he has sought to clarify those comments after being asked in a recent interview with L'Equipe, Paris Saint-Germain's official newspaper.
The 47-year-old said 'it can be difficult to keep him happy' but admitted he was sad to have played in France without any disrespect for so long. I know he's a top player and has been a great player for a long time, but if you've never played there before you have to be sad. Neymar's performances often play a part in his decision to play for France, and not just in the Champions League.
Strasbourg have produced a number of respectable results this season before a defeat to Bordeaux saw them fall back to earth and it is extremely difficult to see Les Coureurs making the trip to the capital. They are currently battling for the Ligue 1 title, pushing sluggish Paris Saint-Germain into second place. Cornet also expressed concern about the upcoming French Open and lamented the lack of interest in the tournament from Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova.
The Frenchman has been struggling with a right knee injury since last year and has dropped to 109th in the rankings. Should David win the award, it could be the match that heralds the start of his career in Lille after his stuttering start to the season.
Montpellier are one of the league's best away teams and Kean scored with 20 minutes to go before Saint-Etienne striker Denis Bouanga headed over the crossbar. Marseille substitute Valere Germain netted in the last ten minutes and midfielder Florent Mollet made it 1-1 His tenure in France ended when the entire squad went on strike on the training pitch after the game. Nicolas Anelka was sent off for a red card in the 2-2 draw at the Stade de France last year.