Ligue 1 Focus – League success down to shrewd acquisitions

With Ligue 1’s biggest teams set for a crucial weekend of fixtures, all eyes will be on Sunday’s blockbuster encounter between last term’s top two, with Bordeaux hosting Marseille at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

The gap between the two heavyweights currently stands at 11 points, with Bordeaux having played a game more. If Marseille can defeat les Girondins in Bordeaux and win their game in hand, the title race will well and truly be back on, as Bordeaux threaten to run away with the league after an impressive first-half of the season. Defender Souleymane Diawara has this week stated to the Press his side’s belief that they can get back into the title race provided they cause on upset on Sunday evening: “For us, it’s a critical match. It’s psychological, there are important points up for grabs, it’s everything in this match. Mentally, if we get the points, it will be a huge boost. If we don’t win, it will be a big blow and it will be very hard to bounce back and win the championship.” The league leaders have shown an unwillingness to be unseated at the top of the table and approach every game with cool heads and a composed nature. The Marseille defender, who spent two seasons with the title winners, believes Laurent Blanc has built a successful team that appears to be at the summit to stay for a long time to come. He added: “This year the team has more experience and stays calm. Bordeaux never panic. That’s where they’ve improved a lot.”

Les Girondins will certainly need the reluctance to panic this Sunday if they are to continue their march towards their second successive title. The midseason statistics certainly back up their supremacy with a current lead of a gigantic nine points, which is the biggest lead that any side has enjoyed in the past two and a half years. In addition to this, Les Girondins possess the meanest defence in the league with an impressive 11 clean sheets so far this term, with only 12 goals conceded. The success of the league’s high flying teams has depended on the effectiveness of the summer signings. Top dogs Bordeaux have acquired the right players, which back up their remarkable statistics. Although as a team, Les Girondins have been spectacular, their success is largely down to the form of three players. The acquisition of goalkeeper C

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