Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
France Preview: Case for and against Lyon and Marseille
by Paul Kennedy, August 3rd, 2007 6:45AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  france

MOST COMMENTED

Lyon is bidding for a seventh successive title in France's Ligue 1, which begins its 2007-08 season on Saturday, but it should get a serious challenge from Marseille, which is looking for its first title in more than a decade. Here's the case for and against Lyon and Marseille.

CASE FOR LYON.
Lyon started to look stale after opening up a huge lead in the first half of the 2006-07 season, so there was a shakeup in the offseason.

OL has a new coach in Alain Perrin, replacing Gerard Houllier. Mathieu Bodmer and Ivorian Kader Keita were signed from Lille and should provide help in midfield. Italian international Fabio Grosso will take over at left back.

Lyon is also the deepest team in France with exciting young forwards Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Harfa still looking to gain permanent spots in the first team.

CASE AGAINST LYON.
Lyon lost three of its best players -- France midfielder Florent Malouda moved to Chelsea, France left back Eric Abidal signed with Barcelona, and Portugal midfielder Tiago joined Juventus. OL collected more than $70 million in offseason transfers.

The biggest loss is goalie and team leader Gregory Coupet, out of action until at least the middle of November after suffering a freak knee injury in training on Thursday when after his foot got caught in the net. Coupet tried to look on the positive side of the injury.

"That's life," Coupet told his club's television channel, OL-TV. "It's not the end of the world. I heard a crack and I feared it could be much worse. The good side to it is that we have a rugby World Cup coming and I'll be able to enjoy every bit of it."

CASE FOR MARSEILLE.
OM has France's new star, playmaker Samir Nasri, being hailed as the new Zinedine Zidane, and France striker Djibril Cisse, is back and healthy after its loan deal with Liverpool was turned into a transfer.

Dutch star Boudewijn Zenden was signed from Liverpool and will be a major force on the left wing. Marseille also added central defender Gael Givet from Monaco and Algeria midfielder Karim Ziani from Sochaux.

"For three years," says Marseille president Pape Diouf, "our goal has been to improve each year. This year our goal is to again qualify for the Champions League but in a little easier fashion."

The acquisition of Givet and Ziani was to give OM some more experience.

CASE AGAINST MARSEILLE.
Since returning to the First Division after the scandals of 1993 and its forced relegation in 1994, OM has not won a major trophy.

Franck Ribery, the best player in Ligue 1, left OM for Bayern Munich in a $32 million transfer deal.
convinced Liverpool

LIGUE 1 OPENING WEEKEND
Aug. 4
Strasbourg vs. Marseille
Caen vs. Nice
Paris SG vs. Sochaux
Bordeaux vs. Lens
Monaco vs. St. Etienne
Rennes vs. Nancy
Valenciennes vs. Toulouse
Lille vs. Lorient
Aug. 5
Le Mans vs. Metz
Lyon vs. Auxerre



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Michael Garcia    
"It is the lack of leadership on these issues within FIFA that leads me to conclude ...
Video Pick: Player loses his wig!    
The 19-year-old defender Baily Cargill was one of the top rated players for second division Bournemouth ...
MLS Trade Central: Wednesday's deals    
MLS and Chivas de Guadalajara reached an agreement regarding Mexican star Erick "Cubo" Torres, who played ...
NASL will open 2015 spring season on April 4    
The North American Soccer League will open its fifth season with the first week of the ...
Las Vegas gets its soccer stadium, too    
It isn't every day that two cities pass measures to build soccer stadiums. Hours after the ...
U.S. Abroad: Midweek Hot (and Cold) List    
John Brooks scored his first goal of the Bundesliga season for Hertha Berlin to open the ...
Road to Vancouver: More to Brazil than Marta    
Marta, whose magnificent performance powered Brazil past the USA Sunday at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia, ...
TV Report: Fox plans unprecedented coverage    
The 2015 Women's World Cup will receive unprecedented coverage on Fox as it will air 16 ...
Klinsmann red-carded in starring role against Germany    
Jonathan Klinsmann's first international match against Germany, the country his father, Jurgen, played for and coached, ...
Olsen sees new D.C. stadium as one piece of grand plan    
He's D.C. United through and through, so head coach and former player Ben Olsen knows better ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives