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Balotelli looks at home in France

Ligue 1

PSG's Jese deserves chance against Lille at Angel Di Maria's expense

The key stats ahead of the weekend's Ligue 1 action, including an embarrassing look at Angel Di Maria's finishing.

Paris Saint-Germain travel north to face Lille on Friday, but it's not certain if Angel Di Maria will be a part of Unai Emery's starting lineup.

The Argentina international is struggling for form with club and country this season and has only shown fleeting glimpses of the player who was enthralling to watch at times in Ligue 1 and the Champions League last campaign.

With just one goal and four assists from 12 matches across all competitions so far this term, Di Maria has come in for criticism, and...

Marseille supporters fully behind crazy Champions League dreams

After securing a point away at PSG in Ligue 1, Marseille coach Rudi Garcia claimed it was 'mission accomplished'.

One of the things that makes Marseille so special and so different makes them maddening, as well. The club are sitting in 11th place in the Ligue 1 table after 10 matches. Yet a very recent change of manager, and a point at the Parc des Princes against Paris Saint-Germain in a game when they didn't even attempt a shot, left club legend and current sporting coordinator Basile Boli to say: "Why not qualify for the Champions League this season?"

No one would have ever said that anywhere else in France....

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ozil, Benzema, Coutinho among stars overlooked for Ballon d'Or nomination

The ESPN FC guys discuss the front-runners for the Ballon d'Or, making a case for Luis Suarez to be among the top three.
Take a look back at Lionel Messi's season that sees him on the 2016 Ballon d'Or shortlist.
After a stellar year full of personal bests, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the top contenders to take home the coveted award.
A look at some of the players who could challenge Messi and Ronaldo for the 2016 Ballon d'Or.
The guys answer your tweets on the best manager in the world, the top Ballon d'Or candidates, and Conte's celebrations.

Jamie Vardy's inclusion aside, France Football's 30-man list of nominees for the 2016 Ballon d'Or had a familiar look to it.

Cristiano Ronaldo and five-time winner Lionel Messi, the current holder, will once again be in the final reckoning with Luis Suarez, Neymar and Antoine Griezmann among the other candidates hoping to make the final three-man shortlist for January's award ceremony.

But there were several star names and big achievers of the current calendar year who were conspicuous by their...

Angel Di Maria woeful, Thiago Silva superb as PSG draw 0-0 vs. Marseille

Angel Di Maria was woeful as PSG were forced to settle for a draw with Marseille.

PSG failed to break down a defensive Marseille side in an uninspiring 0-0 draw that once again exposed the problems afflicting Unai Emery's team at the moment.


With around 200 ultras in the crowd at the Auteuil end of Parc des Princes, in addition to regrouped season-ticket holders, the atmosphere before, during and after the match was superb. Sadly, the French champions could not match that fervent support.

Despite his teammates' struggles, Thiago Silva put in his best performance...

Areola could establish himself as PSG's permanent keeper in Marseille clash

We take a look ahead to the big match in Ligue 1 this weekend, Le Classique between PSG and Marseille.

Since breaking into Unai Emery's starting XI for the 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw at home against Arsenal, Alphonse Areola has been immovable in the Paris Saint-Germain goal.

The 23-year-old goalkeeper has kept four clean sheets from eight appearances across competitions and has also made a number of crucial saves to bail out a defence that's still finding its feet under Emery.

Areola's form with PSG this season has been so impressive that France coach Didier Deschamps called him up to both of...

Monaco need to win against CSKA Moscow to boost confidence again

Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim has insisted that his side will not change styles, ahead of their clash with CSKA Moscow.

In a city where there can be more people at the casino than at the football ground on a Saturday evening, AS Monaco have been as unpredictable on the pitch in recent weeks as a game of roulette.

After an impeccable start to the season with superb wins against Paris Saint-Germain (3-1) at home in Ligue 1 at the end of August, then away at Wembley against Tottenham (2-1) at the start of September in the Champions League, the club went on a seven-game winning streak in all competitions. But the last...