Ligue 1 2012, Week 23 Preview And Fixtures: Haves Looking To Utterly Demoralize Have-Nots

Javier Pastore of Paris Saint-Germain FC during the Dubai Challenge Cup match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and AC Milan at Al-Rashid Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

Marseille is out of action this week due to snow in Evian, giving Rennes, Lyon and Lille the chance to gain a totally meaningless advantage.

Snow has already claimed one fixture this week; as much as I enjoy Ligue 1, let's hope it claims a few more because there are some real turds this time around. CATCH THE FEVER.

Auxerre vs. Lorient

Saturday February 11th; 15:00 CET/9:00 AM ET

Today in "completely un-compelling French football storylines," can Lorient keep their 1 goal per game average in tact? Can an Auxerre team that probably deserves better than Ligue 2 but isn't interesting enough to drive anyone to really care pull themselves out of the relegation zone? We'll find out! When we check the scores later in the afternoon, that is.

Pick: Auxerre, 2-1

Lyon vs. Caen

Saturday February 11th; 15:00 CET/9:00 AM ET

If I wrote headlines for an English newspaper, I'm sure I would write things like "CAEN THEY AVOID RELEGATION?" or "CAEN GIANTS BE SLAIN?" all the time. At least until a decided to invite all of my appliances to join me for a nice, warm soak.

Pick: Lyon, 3-1

Montpellier vs. Ajaccio

Saturday February 11th; 15:00 CET/9:00 AM ET

Montpellier's attack! Ajaccio's defense! Poor Guillermo Ochoa; he'll probably be wondering why he made such a huge mistake. And then he'll arrive back in Ajaccio and remember instantaneously.

Pick: Montpellier, 4-0

Valenciennes vs. Nancy

Saturday February 11th; 15:00 CET/9:00 AM ET

There's one of these every week. Too bad it couldn't have snowed in Valenciennes instead.

Pick: Valenciennes, 1-0

Rennes vs. Sochaux

Saturday February 11th; 15:00 CET/9:00 AM ET

It's slightly hard to believe Sochaux are really as bad as they've been this season. Seeing them at the bottom of the table is always a bit of a shock, and every time I watch them I expect it all to be an illusion. But nope! They're just really bad. I don't have much of an explanation for it, but there you go.

Pick: Rennes, 3-0

Brest vs. Dijon

Saturday February 11th; 19:00 CET/1:00 PM ET

As shambolically bad as Dijon can be at times, you've got to admire a team that has lost 12 times 22 games and has managed to win enough to be in 16th. They may be terrible, but at least they don't half-ass anything.

Pick: Brest, 1-0

Lille vs. Bordeaux

Sunday February 12th; 15:00 CET/9:00 AM ET

Lille is effectively done in the race to defend their title, and with Marseille, Lyon and Rennes close behind playing in Europe at all next season looks less than a sure thing. They need every point they can get at this stage. Unfortunately, they're playing Bordeaux so that would be one point.

Pick: Draw, 1-1

Nice vs. PSG

Sunday, February 12th; 17:00 CET/11:00 AM ET

Seeing as how home-pitch advantage is worth somewhere around 0.5 goals per game, Nice should be favored to lose this one by 999.5 goals.

Pick: PSG, A Lot-Bupkis

Toulouse vs. St. Etienne

Sunday, February 12th; 21:00 CET/3:00 PM ET

Allow me to be preemptively enthralled.

Pick: Draw, 0-0

Evian vs. Marseille

POSTPONED

Aww nuts :(

Pick: Snow, 3-0

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