Ligue 1 Preview, Week 2: Title Favorites Looking To Right The Ship

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Guillaume Hoarau of Paris St Germain celebrates scoring his side's second goal during the Emirates Cup match between Boca Juniors and Paris St Germain at the Emirates Stadium on July 31, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

After an opening week that brought with it some very surprising results, several title contenders will try to get things back on track while a couple of underdogs look to build some positive momentum early on.

Saturday

Lorient vs. Bordeaux

Time: 17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

In beating PSG 1-0 at Parc des Princes on opening day of the Ligue 1 season, Lorient didn't just pick up three very unexpected points to get their season off to a strong start; they also won a victory for alternative fuel sources. Farmers throughout the grain belt proudly painted large cod on the sides of their tractors, while environmental engineers proudly covered their algae-filled work spaces with orange and black regalia. Hippies throughout America cried a single tear and looked towards the heavens in awe while filling their 1984 VW Rabbit conversions with was so recently used cooking oil. Finally, there is hope for a better tomorrow.

Pick: Lorient, 2-1

Lyon vs. AC Ajaccio

Time: 17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

It's a good thing Lyon got the season off to a good start against Nice; otherwise they might have panicked and paid €22 million for Yoann Gourc-oh. I wonder if Franck Robery is homesick.

Pick: Lyon, 3-0

Sochaux vs. Caen

Time: 17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

Last week I said Caen may surprise a lot of people this season. Well, they won a game. So I was right.

Pick: Sochaux, 3-1

St. Etienne vs. Nancy

Time: 17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

This is the Ligue 1 equivalent of a terse email exchange between two department sub-heads.

Pick: Draw, 1-1

Stades Rennes vs. PSG

Time: 17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

PSG might have lost their first game under new ownership at home to a team that finished in the bottom half last season, but in beating out Chelsea for Pastore's signature they won a crucial battle in the "team fans of second-tier clubs all across Europe will hate for making it impossible for them to ever improve" war.

Pick: PSG, 3-1

Toulouse v. Dijon

Time: 17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

The five goals Dijon surrendered to Stades Rennes last week is equal to 13% of Stade Rennes' total number of goals scored all of last season.

Pick: Toulouse, 3-1

Valenciennes vs. Brest

Time: 19:00 CET/3:00 PM EST

In their respective first games of the season, Valenciennes lost to Caen while Brest drew at home with Évian. I think it's safe to say that no matter what happens in this game, both sides will be humiliated.

Pick: Valenciennes, 2-0

Sunday

Auxerre vs. Marseille

If Marseille were hoping to make a "Don't forget about us!" statement in the season opener, a 2-2 draw with Sochaux was kind of the wrong way to go about it. But at least they didn't get waxed by Montpellier. I mean come on.

Time: 15:00 CET/11:00 AM EST

Pick: Marseille, 2-1

Évian TG vs. Nice

Time: 15:00 CET/11:00 AM EST

Well here's a real barn-burner.

Pick: Nice, 3-1

Lille vs. Montpelier

Time: 19:00 CET/3:00 PM EST

Clearly Lille were missing the calming presence of Gervinho's hair last week. Expect Eden Hazard to try to spark them into action by styling his hair into the shape of a Peacock this week.

Pick: Lille, 3-1

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