D1 Arkema Week 13 Preview: Lyon in tricky Montepellier test as PSG seek to redefine title race with a trip to lowly Saint-Étienne
Having been inactive on matchday 12, front-runners Olympique Lyonnais return to action this weekend with a trip to Stade Bernard Gasset Terrain n°7 for a date with Montpellier on Saturday.
With a success rate of 88 % since taking over the reins at Lyon, gaffer Sonia Bompastor will be eager to lead her charges to another victory in a campaign they have looked unstoppable.
Forwards Melvine Mallard and Macario Catarina have been relentless in front of goal with seven goals apiece so far this campaign.
The return chief-markswoman Ada Hegerberg, with five goals in the previous four matches in the league, has added some quality to the log leaders’ frontline which now boasts of four proven goal scorers.
The hosts, on the other hand, will be hoping to continue their unbeaten streak having gone seven games on the bounce. Having last tasted defeat against the same opponents in the corresponding fixture, fifth-placed Montpellier will be seeking to hand the visitors their first defeat of the season.
A victory for the Yannick Chandioux coached outfit will throw the title race wide open with Paris Saint-Germain following hard on the heels of Lyon.
Forward Faustine Robert will be hoping for another fruitful day in front of goal having bagged a brace against Saint-Étienne last week.
Elsewhere, second-placed Paris Saint-Germain return to action on road to Saint-Étienne hoping to relaunch their title defense against the D1 Arkema strugglers.
Having had their last week’s fixture cancelled amid COVID-19 cases, gaffer Didier Ollé-Nicolle will be rubbing hands at the prospect of reducing the gap with Lyon who travel for a potential banana-skin against Montpellier.
Livewire forward Marie-Antoinette Katoto will be hoping to continue with her goalscoring exploits which has seen her amass eight goals in the division so far this season.
Ranked 11thand definitely one of the two punching bags in the division, Saint-Étienne will have their work cut out in their quest to keep a clean sheet having failed to do so in the current campaign and gaffer Jérôme Bonnet will be hoping his charges have some life left in them in their quest to survive relegation.
Sandrine Soubeyrand’s Paris FC take a trip to 10th placed ASJ Soyaux-Charente on Saturday.
With one loss and a draw in their last five games across all competitions, the team from the capital will be looking to maintain third position and keep hopes for 2022-23 European football alive.
Forward Clara Mateo will be hoping to return amongst the goals having last done so with a solitary strike in their 3-1 defeat to Bordeaux mid-November.
Forward Mathilde Bourdieu, on the score sheet for the first time in the league last week, will be hoping to build on that performance and justify her continued selection by the coach.
Soyaux-Charente, having gone 16 consecutive matches without a win versus Paris FC, will be hoping the pendulum swings their way in their fight for survival.
The Dragan Cvetković coached side seem to be finding life amongst the big-guns in D1 Arkema difficult and face the pressure of having to kick-start their season’s turn-around.
Forward Laura Bourgouin, the team’s leading goal-getter with three goals, will be hoping to increase the tally as she leads the fight for survival.
A mid-table clash beckons when seventh-placed Bordeaux entertain sixth-ranked Stade de Reims on Saturday at the Stade Sainte-Germaine.
With one victory in their previous five matches across all competitions, gaffer Patrice Lair will be hoping for the visitors’ change in fortunes as they occupy seventh position, their worst so far this season.
Forward Melissa Gomez will be hoping to add to her season’s goal tally which stands at four so far.
On the other hand, Stade de Reims will be hoping to build on their impressive defensive record and continue their steady rise on the table.
Amandine Miquel’s side will turn to the services of forward Kessya Bussy, who weighs in with six goals this season.
Ninth-placed Guingamp travel to ISSY FF hoping to pile misery on the bottom-ranked side.
The visitors will be looking to get back to winning ways having gone nine matches without collecting maximum points, albeit with four draws.
GPSO 92 Issy, with 10 consecutive losses in a row at home since April last year, have a lot of work to do in their quest to remain in the league.
FIXTURES (Saturday): Issy FF vs. Guingamp (14:30hrs); Soyaux-Charente vs. Paris FC (14:30hrs); Bordeaux vs. Stade Reims (14:30hrs); Montpellier vs. Lyon (17:00hrs)
(Sunday): Saint-Étienne vs. PSG (14:45hrs)
All times are Central European Time (CET)
(Photo by Gualter Fatia - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)