French Ligue 1 2011, Week 7 Preview And Fixtures: Lille, PSG, Lyon All Try To Continue Good Form

Anthony Reveillere of Olympique Lyonnais in action during the Ligue 1 match between Olympique Lyonnais and AC Ajaccio at Gerland Stadium (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

After a busy weekend full of surprises, Ligue 1 returns for another full slate of games Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

There were some hilarious shocking results in Ligue 1 this past weekend, but the quick turnaround to a full slate of mid-week games will give the chastened sides an opportunity to regain face and momentum rather than dwelling on their failures.

Tuesday September 20th

Bordeaux vs. Lille

19:00 CET/3:00 PM EST

Lille will be happy that they were far from alone amongst their expected top-table rivals in terms of earning poor results this weekend, and though Sochaux is a club the defending champions should expect to dispatch at home and Lille at least have the excuse of playing the majority of the second half down a man. On the other hand if Joe Cole had been playing right back the sending off never would have happened and Lille would have kept their lead.

Pick: Lille, 2-1

Wednesday September 21st

AC Ajaccio vs. Montpellier

17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

After a bit of a surprising start, Ajaccio seem be reminding people that they were in fact playing in Ligue 2 last season. Montpellier, meanwhile, has fallen off the top of the table but can still boast the highest number of goals scored and largest goal differential in the league. If they keep this up all season people will ask the coaches and players and fans if they could have ever dreamed such a transformation was possible and they'll all say they knew they had it in them and always believed in themselves and blah blah blah and it will all be a complete and total lie and self delusion.

Pick: Montpellier, 3-1

Nancy vs. Valenciennes

17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

Yes, these are two teams that didn't look especially great coming into the season that have somehow performed below expectations to this point. But aren't these the games that are so often the most entertaining? Oh wait, no. They're totally not. They're almost always awful.

Pick: Valenciennes, 3-1

Caen vs. Lyon

17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

Lyon are top of the table at the moment and the only remaining unbeaten side in Ligue 1. Caen seemd bound and determined to show that their run to avoid relegation at the end of last season was more than just a blip. Will that motivation be enough to grab a huge three points against the the league's most recently storied side? Nope.

Pick: Lyon, 2-0

Dijon vs. Brest

17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

Dijon has won twice and lost four times in six games, while Brest has lost once and grinded out five draws. These clubs are dead even in points and got there in dramatically different ways and they've scored the exact same number of goals while Dijon has allowed seven more. Guess which one is sustainable? Good job! Now, guess which on is more enjoyable to watch?

Pick: Brest, 2-1

Lorient vs. AJ Auxerre

17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

Lorient got off to a very nice start (especially considering the players they lost over the summer) and looked poised to build on last season's best-ever finish, but there probably weren't a lot of people expecting the 3-0 stomping they handed to St. Étienne on Saturday. Meanwhile Auxerre played to a fairly uninspiring draw against Caen, continuing a theme for the season of hard-luck results. But you know what they say about luck; you make your own. Either that or that it's an uncontrollable mix of random factors that cannot be predicated but should be expected to even out given a large enough sample. I can never remember which.

Pick: Lorient, 1-0

Marseille vs. Évian TG

17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

Marseille are one of the select few teams to be included in the EA Sports FIFA 12 demo that was made available this past week. You know who else is in that demo? Arsenal.

*"Unsolved Mysteries" theme song plays in background*

Pick: Marseille, 2-1

PSG vs. Nice

17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

Well, it finally happened; Javier Pastore displayed a bit of the tremendous technical skill that made him such a valuable commodity over the summer, combing brilliant footwork and sublime finishing ability to score an absolutely stunning goal against Évian over the weekend. It wasn't his first goal, but it was the first he's scored in a PSG shirt that highlighted his status as one of the world's special young players. Another thing that happened to PSG this weekend? They drew to a team that didn't exist five years ago.

Pick: PSG, 2-0

Sochaux vs. Stade Rennes

17:00 CET/1:00 PM EST

Two high powered (in this context) attacks and somewhat leaky defenses (in any context) do battle in a game that could have consequences later in the season in terms of mid-table order and even possibly Europa League chances. Easily the most intriguing match of the day so it's a good thing it's happening at the same time eight other games, most of which feature bigger clubs.

Pick: Sochaux, 3-2

St. Étienne vs. Toulouse

19:00 CET/3:00 PM EST

Toulouse are another club in Motpellier's mode (though it's both less extreme and less surprising in Toulouse's case) who have managed to maintain a strong back line while making significant imporvements to the attack. Those are encouraging signs, as it both helps to improve the entertainment value of Ligue 1 and also makes the battle for the European places look a bit more interesting assuming they can keep it up. St. Etienne, meanwhile, is St. Etienne.

Pick: Toulouse, 2-1

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