Ligue 1 heads into the weekend still rocked by the prospect of financial trouble, and the acute nature of the problem has been made clear as Lille are set to be sold.
While LOSC were never in the strongest financial position, on the field, the project has worked smoothly. Despite the challenge of juggling European and domestic football, they lead the way in France and progressed in the Europa League.
Elsewhere, Reims and Nimes have been making worrying sounds about the current lack of income due to empty stadiums and no television income.
Tis the season to be jolly, indeed.
Ligue 1 Game of the Weekend: Lille vs Paris Saint-Germain
It’s first against second at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, where Lille will attempt to pick up the win that will ensure that they go into the Christmas break ahead of the defending champions.
Christophe Galtier’s side did not miss a beat in midweek as they overcame Dijon, and while they rotated their squad for that match, they will be close to full strength for Sunday’s encounter. Renato Sanches is a doubt along with Luiz Araujo, while Jeremy Pied is expected to come up a little short.
PSG, meanwhile, have more high-profile troubles. Neymar, whose entire season was being questioned when he went off against Lyon last weekend, may be able to feature in this encounter. Other leading names such as Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe are also worries.
Should PSG fail to win, Thomas Tuchel’s position will come under increased scrutiny over the brief winter break.
Rest of the Round
Ligue 1’s fixture list kicks off on Saturday this weekend, with Metz playing host to Lens after both recorded fine midweek wins. A fatigued Marseille then tackle Reims before Nice and Lyon square off in the last of Saturday’s three fixtures.
Brest, who pinched a late draw against Lyon on Wednesday, host Montpellier in Sunday’s early match.
Monaco will seek to end a run of three losing matches away to Dijon on Sunday afternoon, with in-form Strasbourg facing Bordeaux at the same time. Coachless Nantes host Angers and Saint-Etienne play Nimes in the other of Sunday’s multiplex games.
Prior to the main event in the evening, there is a Breton derby between Rennes and Lorient.
Ligue 1 Player to Watch: Habib Diallo – Strasbourg – £0.44
Strasbourg are a side hitting form just before the winter break, and one of the reasons for their resurgence is the fine form of record signing Habib Diallo.
He has managed nine games with Racing and has already tallied five goals and three assists – fine going for a player in a team that is hovering just above the relegation zone.
However, they are now undefeated in four and Diallo has been particularly active during this period. He has two goals and two assists during the last three games. With Ludovic Ajorque likely to be rotated back into the squad, Racing will be confident of extending their positive run.