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Balotelli's return to form fueling Nice

Five Aside

Emery, PSG desperate for a win against co-leaders Nice

Unai Emery says he and the players have the backing of the club as PSG prepare to face Ligue 1 leaders Nice.
Lucien Favre says injury concerns persist with Mario Balotelli, but Nice will be ready to clash with PSG.

Just over a week ago, things were looking rosy for Paris Saint-Germain; Unai Emery's men were about to travel to Montpellier to take on La Paillade for what looked like three nailed on Ligue 1 points, before a straightforward UEFA Champions League visit from Ludogorets Razgrad in which PSG could lock up top spot in Group A.

Less than 10 days later, the French giants have slipped to four points behind OGC Nice and insatiable AS Monaco at Le Championnat's summit after a 3-0 mauling in Montpellier...

Mario Balotelli's return to form a big factor in Nice's rise to top of Ligue 1

Alison Bender and Gabriele Marcotti discuss the news that Mario Balotelli has been overlooked for a place in the latest Italy squad.
Mario Balotelli is enjoying his time in Nice thus far, scoring six league goals and helping his team to the top of the table.

Nice currently sit atop the Ligue 1 standings, an unfamiliar place for a team with an average finish of 11th over the last six seasons. It's a significant achievement, considering Nice last secured a domestic championship in 1959, a period in which the club won four in a single decade.

This past offseason, Nice lost their two top scorers in Hatem Ben Arfa and Valere Germain to perennial title contenders Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, respectively. They also lost coach Claude Puel to Southampton...

PSG struggling ahead of top-of-the-table clash with Ligue 1 leaders Nice

Gab Marcotti and Raphael Honigstein assess Unai Emery's shaky tenure at PSG following their second place finish in Group A.
As Nice continue to set the pace in Ligue 1, Frank Leboeuf explains why he believes they're deserving of the top spot.

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Nice, which takes place on Sunday, is not the fixture that people looked for when the Ligue 1 season schedule was announced.

The two PSG vs. Marseille encounters? Sure. PSG vs. Lyon, Monaco vs. Marseille, Monaco vs. PSG and Lyon vs. St Etienne? Of course. And maybe a few more as well . But PSG vs. Nice in early December? Certainly not.

And yet, this weekend, the Parc des Princes will host the game of the season so far in France.

Paris Saint-Germain Paris Saint-Germain
7:45 PM UTC
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Nobody thought Nice would lead the table after...

European top scorers Monaco find their rhythm under Leonardo Jardim

Leonardo Jardim never played football professionally, but his journey through the lower leagues aided in his success.

The transformation has been truly remarkable. If anyone had predicted in the summer that Monaco would be the highest-scoring team in Europe's top leagues come December, they would have been laughed out of town. And yet here they are -- the Monegasques have scored 49 goals in just 16 matches in Ligue 1.

That is a whopping 19 goals more than leaders Nice and the multimillionaires of Paris Saint-Germain. Real Madrid have netted 37 times in 16 Primera Division fixtures. Barcelona are further...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

When are 2016 Ballon d'Or and FIFA Best Men's Player awards announced?

Real Madrid and Barcelona have always dominated the Ballon D'or, but who has won more in their history?

The Ballon d'Or and FIFA Best Men's Player awards are now separate. Find out all the information about them below.

When are the award ceremonies?

- The Ballon d'Or award will be announced on Dec. 12, 2016 (8 p.m CET), with a progressive revelation of the list from 17.30 CET on and L'Equipe.

- The FIFA Best Men's Player award, Best Women's Player and FIFA Puskas award (for the best goal of 2016) will be presented at the Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony on Jan. 9, 2017...

Emery flops as Paris Saint Germain pathetic in limp defeat to Montpellier

Montpellier dealt PSG their biggest Ligue 1 defeat since 2011.
Montpellier thumped Paris Saint-Germain 3-0 in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

PSG were thumped 3-0 by Montpellier at Stade de la Mosson on Saturday in arguably the worst performance from Unai Emery's men this season. If losing 2-0 away to Toulouse was bad, this was worse.

Paris Saint-Germain Paris Saint-Germain
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There was nothing even slightly positive that came out of such a dreadful display, not even Christopher Nkunku's presence in the starting XI -- a prematch cause for excitement.


Pretty much everything. From Emery's tactics and personnel decisions to the players' attitudes, it was poor...