Ligue 1: Week 37: Player Picks for the Weekend

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Most of the major European leagues have finished but in France Ligue 1 doesn’t end until the end of the month. PSG are champions of course and Lille and Lyon look like they will get Champions League places. Relegation is still up for grabs though, could Caen really survive and take down the 2017 champions Monaco, it looks more likely as the season draws to a close.

Below we pick in a 4-4-2 formation the players that could be most likely to shine and earn you points this weekend.

Goalkeeper: Stephane Ruffier- Saint Etienne

Stephane Ruffier has been superb in goal for Saint Etienne and the club have conceded just 3 in the last 6 games. They will be at home to Nice and this is the clubs last roll of the dice. Ruffier can be added to your team for 7.5m.

Defender: Marcelo- Lyon

Marcelo has played 31 times and is ranked as the best Lyon defender this season. Lyon are at home and really need the win. They will have a tough game against Caen who are fighting to stay up, but Lyon possess more quality and Marcelo is just 8m.

Defender: Dani Alves

Dani Alves for PSG could have a good game, this is PSG’s last home match of the season and it may well be Alves last game for PSG given his age. He will want to put in a good performance and they are playing Dijon who are really struggling, Alves could well earn some valuable points here.

Defender: Hilton- Montpellier

Hilton has played almost the whole season and Montpellier kept a clean sheet in their last game as they try and finish the season on a high. They are playing Nantes at the weekend but they are at home and every chance to get a good result, he is 6m.

Defender: Lamine Kone- Strasbourg

Kone has a had a decent season and has become a staple figure in the side. It is true that Strasbourg have just 1 clean sheet in their past five games however the club will feel confident that they can do so when they entertain Rennes at the weekend and Kone should be looked into.

Midfielder: Remi Oudin- Reims

Oudin is valued at 10m but he has had a great season for Reims even if the club are going through a difficult spell. He has assisted in 3 goals and scored a further 10 and with the season almost near the end he might be worth sticking in your team.

Midfielder: Arber Zeneli- Reims

Sticking with Reims, is Zeneli another player that can switch it on and create chances. Reims have not been in good form but have the quality to finish the season well and they will be playing Bordeaux who have been very poor this season so their luck could change. Zeneli can be yours for just 6.5m.

Midfielder: Ismaila Sarr-Rennes

Sarr has been in good form for Rennes as they take on Strasbourg away at the weekend it what could end up being quite a close game. Sarr has scored 7 goals and also assisted 6 times and he is valued at 7.5m.

Midfielder: Wylan Cyprien- Nice

Cyprien has so much quality but what tends to happen is that he goes through periods of the season quiet. The question is can he finish it on form and with a bang? He can be brought into your team for a bargain 5m and Nice will be playing Saint Etienne at the weekend.

Striker: Nicolas Pepe- Lille

Nicolas Pepe has been one of the best players in Ligue 1. This is Lille’s last game at home to secure 2nd place and it all looks set for Pepe to add to his goals this season. He should be taken on.

Striker: Edinson Cavani- PSG

This could be Cavani’s final game in Paris as he is set to leave the club. He has scored so many goals for the club. Kylian Mbappe is struggling with fitness and Neymar is banned from this game, so this should be Cavani’s time to step up and score a few goals. He is 13m which is expensive but at the same time the players will be creating many chances for him, that’s for sure.

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Ligue 1: Week 36: Player Picks for the Weekend

Julian Draxler

There is just 3 games to go in Ligue 1 and we will be taking  a look at the fixtures at the weekend and try to pick out who we think will be the best performing players to add to your team at the weekend. We will be using a formation of 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Maxime Dupe- Nantes

Maxime Dupe has been drafted into the Nantes squad with first choice goal keeper injured and in his last game he was able to keep a clean sheet. Nantes are the best team in France based on recent form and they will play Nice who are not prolific goal scorers. Dupe is a bargain at just 1.5m to add to your team.

Defender: Diego Carlos

Keeping with Nantes it is true that even though they have been winning games they have been conceding, but that changed last weekend with a 3-0 win over Dijon. Diego Carlos is their best performing defender and he could put in another good shift against Nice. He is valued at 6m.

Defender: Mathieu Debuchy- Saint Etienne

We named Debucy player of the week a few weeks ago and he has had a terrific season so far. Saint Etienne play Montpellier at home in a must win game and the player is sure to be on top form and motivated for this game. He is rated at 7.5m.

Defender: Faitout Maouassa- Nimes

Maouassa was one of the best players last week in Ligue 1 as Nimes went to Reims and won 3-0 and kept a clean sheet in the process. Maouassa is listed as a midfielder but Nimes have been playing him in defence in recent matches and he is valued at 5m. Nimes will be at home against Monaco where they will fancy their chances.

Defender: Damien Da Silva- Rennes

It’s true that Rennes have only kept one clean sheet in their last four games but they will be at home to one of the poorest performing teams all season in Guingamp and they have the chance to win to nil in this game. Da Silva is the best defender Rennes have and he can be part of your team for just 5m.

Midfielder: Leo Dubois- Lyon

There are better midfielders at Lyon that is for sure but Leo Dubois could be worth picking at the weekend. He is a player that doesn’t mind coming forward in the game and he has already assisted in 5 times from just 18 starts. He looks good to include in your team for just 6.5m as Lyon take on Marseille to try and reach 2nd place.

Midfielder: Julien Draxler -PSG

Draxler still keeps needing to prove himself and he should be able to get more and more game time now that PSG have won the league. Form is poor for the club but they have the opportunity to turn this around at the weekend when they play Angers away from home. Draxler is valued at 6m which is a great price for a PSG player and remember he has assisted 6 times this season and scored 3 goals.

Midfielder: Frederic Guilbert-Caen

Caen might be 18th but they have been terrific going their last 3 games unbeaten and keeping clean sheets. Guilbert has been the rock in midfield this season starting 30 games and making a couple of assists. Caen are ready to survive in Ligue 1 and he is valued at 6m as the club take on Reims at home.

Midfielder: Ibrahima Sissoko- Strasbourg

Strasbourg are drawing games and becoming very hard to beat and they should have enough to cause 19th place Dijon problems at the weekend. Sissoko is one of the teams best midfielders assisting 2 times this season and could be worth snapping up for 4.5m.

Striker: Remy Cabella – Saint Etienne

Remy Cabella is established and shouldn’t be a surprise to be here but if you don’t have him you should invest in him. He has his goal scoring boots on but also his team are going for 3rd place and are in brilliant form plus they are at home against Montpellier who can’t get a European place. Cabella can be in your side for 7m.

Striker: Nicolas Pepe- Lille

Nicolas Pepe has been outstanding this season and is still a great price to buy at just 8m. Next season he is sure to be higher as he has scored 20 times this season and assisted in 11 other goals. Lille are at home to underperforming Bordeaux and could seal their Champions League place with a win at the weekend. We expect Pepe to be involved in goals.

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Ligue 1: Week 33: 11 Player Picks for the Weekend

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Another game for PSG and another chance to win the league, but they lost their game in hand over Nantes in midweek. It means that they have missed out on winning the league for the 3rd straight game. Still such is their lead that they will still win the league- they need just 1 more point from 6 games, but they have made heavy weather of it all.

Alongside PSG’s game with Monaco to possibly decide the league outcome we will take a look at the fixtures this weekend in Ligue 1 and try and pick out the players that could earn you points for your Fantasy Ligue 1 team. Formation 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Stephane Ruffier- Saint Etienne

Ruffier is valued at 7.5m and has been part of a Saint Etienne team that has conceded just 4 goals in the past month. He has also kept 3 clean sheets from the last five games as they travel to Reims this weekend he could be worth picking up.

Defender: Dante Costa- Nice

Costa has put in some great displays over the past few weeks for Nice and let’s not forget here is a team who have kept 3 clean sheets in a row. Also they will play the bottom club in Caen and will be at home, so will be favourites to pick up the points and keep another clean sheet.

Defender: Malang Sarr- Nice

Let’s stick with another Nice defender who have done so well at the back and that is none other than Malang Sarr who has also played the majority of the season. They are facing the poorest side in the league and will be at home. Sarr is great value too at just 5.5m.

Defender: Kenny Tete- Lyon

Lyon have been in poor form but at the same time surely this will not last as they try and consolidate 3rd place. They will be at home this weekend against Angers in 12th place. Tete has only played 10 games this season but has been the choice of late and is valued at 6.5m.

Defender: Diego Carlos- Nantes

It’s true that Nantes have not kept a clean sheet in over a month but that will end at some point and the club will be at home against Amiens who have only scored 8 goals away from home. There is a good chance they will get a clean sheet and Diego Carlos can score goals too, he did so in Nantes last game against PSG. He is valued at 6m.

Midfielder: Julian Draxler -PSG

Draxler has had a mixed season with PSG but he is set to play when the club take on Monaco due to injuries. He can score goals too and has netted 7 times this season and set up another 3 goals. Draxler can be bought for a bargain 6m.

Midfielder: Mathieu Debuchy- Saint Etienne

The Ligue 1 Fantasy player of the week is in good form and very confident and it’s possible that against Reims he can shine again at the weekend after scoring 2 goals. His distribution is excellent too and he can be brought into your team for 7.5m.

Midfielder: Jonathan Bamba- Lille

Jonathan Bamba has been consistent of late for Lille and he scored against PSG in Lille’s last game which they won 5-1. Lille will be away at the weekend but this is against Toulouse where they will be expected to win and he could well get on the score sheet. Bamba is valued at 7m.

Midfielder: Florian Thauvin- Marseille

Marseille will play Guingamp in 19th place and will be the odds on favourites to win this game. Thauvin has the quality to score from midfield against such opposition and if he isn’t already in your team could well be worth picking, Marseille could get a few goals in that game.

Striker: Kylian Mbappe- PSG

Mbappe was dropped from PSG’s last game v Nantes because he criticised the commitment of the team. But coach Thomas Tuchel has many injury worries and needs Ligue 1′s leading scorer. This is a game in Paris against Monaco where if they win or draw they win the league. Mbappe could score and get the winner and vital points to crown a fantastic domestic season.

Striker: Nicolas Pepe- Lille

Pepe has been one of the finest young strikers not just in Ligue 1 but in Europe this season. Lille will play Toulouse and Pepe has just scored against PSG and found his scoring boots once more. Pepe can add to his tally again at the weekend and is valued at 8m.

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Lille destroy PSG in stunning fashion as Lyon lose again

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For the second week in a row PSG have blown the chance to wrap up the league title and both have been in quite stunning fashion. The first was when Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting missed the sitter of a century to the club in front against Strasbourg. That was one shock to take away and analyse. But it got worse at the weekend when Paris visited Lille, the 2nd best team in France this season and were soundly demolished 5-1.

It threw shockwaves around the league given that PSG had previously lost just 1 game all season and when, on the rare occasion, they do lose they don’t concede 5 goals. It was a strange game that actually started with a Thomas Meunier own goal to put Lille in front, but PSG were level on the 11th minute through a Juan Bernat effort, but he would later be sent off to compound the misery for the champions.

Both Meunier and then Tiago Silva were taken off early on through injuries and it was shortly after this point that Lille saved their best moments for the game. In 30 second half minutes Lille scored 4 goals, PSG were in shock and the game fell away. The club will put it down to a bad day at the office, but the party poppers just keep getting delayed for a side that are still 18 points clear with a game in hand.

PSG will play Nantes away from home next weekend when all they will need is a single point to win back to back league titles. The sticking point in that game could be that Nantes have just pulled off one of their finest results this season by beating Lyon in 3rd place 2-1. That means back to back defeats for Lyon and with it they look like to have conceded runners up spot to Lille. The gap between the two teams is now 8 points with 18 remaining to be played.

Saint Etienne beat Bordeaux 3-0 and they are now just 3 points behind Lyon for a final Champions League position. In short Lyon simply have not been good enough this past month and could miss out on participating in next seasons competition. Marseille beat Nimes 2-1 in an enjoyable but nervy encounter for the home side which puts them on 51 points and five points behind Lyon just to add the pressure.

Montpellier beat Toulouse 2-1 which was good enough to move up to 6th place. But it was disappointment for France’s most historical club Reims who have had a superb season back in Ligue 1 when they could only 0-0 with Monaco, they are on the same points as Montpellier with 48 but their succession of draws is damaging their chances of finishing in a European position.

Finally Nice make the top 8 and while they remain undefeated in their last 4 games, it was another dour 0-0 draw away to Rennes that doesn’t raise much interest in how the team will finish up this season.

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Who should Arsenal target in the transfer market this summer?

It’s not yet certain what Arsenal’s season will hold, with the Gunners still in the chase for a top four finish and qualification to next season’s Champions League, but they must already start looking ahead to the summer. Speculation has already been sparked over who could arrive at the Emirates Stadium.

Of course, it’s not yet known if Arsenal will spend big. In January, they only signed Denis Suarez on loan from Barcelona, with their transfer market outlay last summer modest. The North London side aren’t even trying to challenge the likes of the two Manchester clubs and the two Spanish giants for players anymore. They need to look elsewhere.

pepe

So who should they target this summer? Kieran Tierney has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium in recent weeks, with the Celtic left bak considered one of the best young prospects in the European game right now. With Nacho Monreal expected to move on at the end of the season, his signing would be a shrewd addition.

Unai Emery could use a wide attacker to compliment what he already has in the final third with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette and so Nicolas Pepe could be a target this summer, with the Lille winger attracted attention from a number of Premier League and European clubs.

However, Pepe could cost something close to £100 million and that would put the winger out of Arsenal’s reach. This could force the Gunners to look at younger options, with Paris Saint-Germain’s Christopher Nkunku linked with a move to North London. He would seem to fit the profile that Arsenal are looking for.

Much of Arsenal’s focus this summer will be on moving players out, rather than bringing them out. Aaron Ramsey is already set to make the move to Juventus when his contract runs out and Monreal, as already mentioned, is expected to leave the Emirates Stadium. Barcelona, of all clubs, are reported to be interested.

Then there’s the continuing Mesut Ozil saga. Emery hasn’t managed to keep his desire to get the German out of the club much of a secret, but on a contract of £350,000 finding a buyer for the playmaker will be tough. Bringing in the right players on a modest budget might prove just as tough for the Gunners.

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Ligue 1- 11 Player Picks for the Weekend

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There is a full fixture list for Ligue 1 this weekend and whilst PSG will win the league this season there is still so much to be proven, won and lost from now until May. Who will get the other 2 places for the Champions League? And on Sunday night we will witness one of the grandest fixtures in European football when PSG take on in form Marseille. Below is our list of players to watch out for this weekend that you may want to add to your Ligue 1 Fantasy team.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Steve Mandanda 8.5m

Mandanda hasn’t always had it easy this season and that is why he is in 7th place in Ligue 1 fantasy standings. But his current form has been terrific where he has shipped just 2 goals in the past month or Marseille. He picked up 7pts last weekend and a good performance this weekend would see him into the top 5.

Defender: Yunis Abdelhamid 6m

The Reims defender has been in good form in the back four who have been able to keep a few clean sheets already in 2019 as the club are now in the top 5. Reims play Nantes at home, and we could well expect them to achieve another clean sheet against a side who are in 14th place.

Defender: Kenny Lala 5m

Lala has been an unsung hero of the defence of the Strasbourg team. While it is true that his defenders conceded 2 goals last weekend that was against Lyon. But they have a good chance to keep a clean sheet as they play newly promoted Nimes at the weekend and Lala who has 43pts already should be looked into.

Defender: Dante Costa 6.5m

Dante Costa won’t ‘costa’ you a lot and the Nice defender has already garnered 36pts this season. Nice are at home against Toulouse on Friday night where they will be the favourites to win and could well keep a clean sheet, helping Costa’s cause.

Defender: Thiago Silva 9.5m

The PSG talisman has proven himself to be one of the best defenders in Ligue 1. PSG play Marseille at the weekend in a game which could go either way when we look at recent form. At the same time history tells us this might be a very difficult match for Marseille and PSG may be able to keep a clean sheet. Silva is 9.5m but has scored a massive 61pts so far.

Midfielder: Maxime Lopez 5m

Maxime Lopez has just got on with what he needs to do at Marseille and whilst he only has 29pts in midfield, he remains a luxury player at a good price of 5m that can change a game. Marseille do have a difficult match against PSG but they will be 100% focused as they try to reach 3rd place in the standings. He is more adept at assists than scoring goals.

Midfielder: Thiago Mendes 7m

Mendes has been very solid for Lille this season in the middle of the football pitch and Lille will be taking on Monaco who have struggled this season even though they are playing much better now. But Lille at home should be able to ease to victory and Mendes could be a key player.

Midfielder: Xavier Chavalerin 6m

Chavalerin is just 6m and has done very well for his team Reims this season starting 26 games. Reims have been a revelation and remain a strong contender for European football and are playing an average form team in Nantes this weekend. In recent months the player has scored a few goals and assisted well. He could be worth a pick this weekend for his price.

Midfielder: Younousse Sankhare 8m

Looking at his season the Bordeaux midfielder Sankhare looks overpriced but he is the type of player that can make teams of the weekend and he might be able to help his club when they will be at home to Rennes. Rennes will be tired after the Arsenal game in the Europa League and Bordeaux could take advantage of that. Plus Sankhare has assisted in 3 goals this season.

Striker: Nicolas Pepe 8m

Pepe is excellent value to add to your team as he has been one of the best strikers in Ligue 1 this season. We will pick him because he is in form and will face the defence of Monaco who have been less than impressive this season. He has 84pts and has scored 17 goals this season and assisted in 8.

Striker: Gaetan Laborde 5m

Laborde is just 5m and the Montpellier striker has scored 10 goals this season and is always a danger and attacking player. Montpellier play play Lyon but Lyon have been shipping goals lately which could work out for Laborde and he should be looked into.

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Controversy in Ligue 1 as Saint Etienne lose the plot against league rivals Lille

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The match between Saint Etienne and Lille was billed as match of the weekend in Ligue 1 given the teams standings. It was 5th v 2nd and 2nd one.

Saint Etienne have really punched above their weight this season and looked odds on for a European place and maybe even a Champions League one, but recent form had dipped before having to meet Lille who have been a revelation this season. Though Lille will not win the league as they are 14 points behind PSG and have played two games more they are eyeing 2nd place.

The game was a frantic one but was littered with 6 yellow cards and then Lille grabbed the game just as it looked like it was heading for a 0-0. Tensions had already been strong beforehand but when one of the starlets of the season Nicolas Pepe scored for Lille with just three minutes remaining you could have heard a pin drop in the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

With only one team realistically going to win from there on, the problems started. And it felt like the Argentina team level problems from the 1990 World Cup final when a few Saint Etienne players simply lost the plot.

Not one but two players would be sent off and the chaos of course simply played into Lille’s hands. The first to go was Mathieu Debauchy whose frustrations were taken out through un sport man like conduct and he wen 250 seconds after Pepe’s goal for a second bookable offence. But the embarrassment wasn’t over for the home side yet.

Striker Wahbi Khazri lost the plot in the 4th minute of injury time as his side had a chance to score and level everything up. He ended up receiving a straight red which will be a massive miss for his club who rely on his goals, and now he is set to miss at least 3 games in a row as the club try to home on in a European finish.

Despite this setback Saint Etienne coach Jean-Louis Gasset tried to remain optimistic. “We knew Lille were a stronger and faster team on the break. We were lucky not to take a hiding in the first half, but then at the end we were pushing for a winner and lost it on the counterattack with three minutes left. The two sendings-off will handicap our squad which is already affected by injuries.”

Gasset continued: “We wanted to get back on track after the match at Marseille. We tried, but we were clumsy and not good enough technically. There was a bit of frustration after the goal. Our European hopes are not over. We have lost to the three teams – Paris, Lyon and Lille – who are fighting for the Champions League. We have lost to teams who are stronger than us. Now we will try to remobilise everyone. Not everything is to be thrown away, even if we have not been playing as well since January now.”

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Ligue 1 -Player of the Week- Kylian Mbappe

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Kylian Mbappe scored both goals as PSG beat Caen at the weekend in what was a tougher match than expected for the current French champions, and he has emerged as our Fantasy player of the week.

Mbappe collected a cool 8 points with his two goals which now puts him on an overall points tally of 107 pts. Not only was Mbappe the player of the week but he is the leading player in Fantasy Ligue 1 and is a massive 27 pts in front of Lille striker Nicolas Pepe and his team mate Edinson Cavani.

Mbappe is just 20 years old and what has been incredible is how he has been able to adapt himself so well and shown so much consistency it’s as if he has been playing football at the top level for the past 10 years.

Not only is he leading the Fantasy Ligue 1 rankings but he is also the top goal scorer in Ligue 1 with 24 goals to his name already. He has already surpassed his best season goals wise which came with his former club Monaco in the 2016/17 season when he scored 15 league goals. Overall that season he was able to net 26 times but this season he has 29 and could well have 40 by the end of it.

It’s not just about goals for Mbappe though and he has assisted in 5 goals, with his vision and his pace no defender wants to really go toe to toe with him, and it is clear that Mbappe is one of the best players in the world, and possibly as an out and out striker could well be the best centre forward, even at 20. In that relation he reminds one of the Brazilian Ronaldo who burst onto the scene 23 years ago. Both players share that pace and a willingness to go for goal without hesitation.

If you don’t have Mbappe in your team, perhaps you should do and he can be bought for 10.5m his current value. That is 2.5m cheaper than Cavani who has 7 goals less than him. Indeed Neymar cost 14.5m and that’s 3m more than Mbappe, although to be fair Neymar has missed the past month and could be out until April, so injury has hampered his season performance.

What has also been impressive with Mbappe being in first position is that he has received 3 yellow cards and 1 red. Whilst Pepe and Cavani in 2nd and 3rd place have no cards against them and yet Mbappe still has a huge lead over them.

Mbappe has scored 5 goals in his past 3 games and looks the favourite to be the top goal scorer this season in Ligue 1. For 10.5m he is proving to be not the only the best player of the week in France, but currently the best player in Ligue 1.

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Should Nicolas Pepe be Manchester United’s next big purchase?

There has been talk for many years about updating Manchester United’s right wing, given the lack of out-and-out wide players that occupy their flank. Both Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard, more natural to the number 10 position, have routinely been placed out wide, while centre forwards Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford have also had stints in unfamiliar territory. 

The Red Devils have lost a part of their attacking force due to the predictability of their right wing.Ashley Young, who has been filling in at right back, is usually ever present in offensive positions, but with his teammate ahead of him usually cutting inside, the opposition know that if they can put two players on Young and cover the space effectively, United’s attacks will come to void.

The Englishman has also received stark criticism over his poor execution of crosses, which is prohibiting their chances of putting the ball into the box.

And so it is about time that Manchester United reinforced their ring with some new talent, with Nicolas Pepe of Lille being the name on the tip of many fans’ tongues.

Ligue 1 is consistently slandered by supporters claiming it is a ‘farmer’s league’, suggesting that because of Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance, the whole division is weak in comparison to the almighty Premier League. But there is a clear reason why English and European clubs continually go to the French market, and that is because they produce some of the best players in the world.

From Ousmane Dembélé  to Samuel Umtiti to Bernardo Silva and Kylian Mbappé, Ligue 1 has nurtured some of the finest players this generation has and will see, so it remains bemusing as to see why the mockery continues to grow.

This year, the 23 year old Pepe has become a household name, rising to prominence with a high-flying Lille side. Coming into his prime years, the Ivory Coast international would be a catch to Manchester United given his directness and ability to create something from nothing – he is fantastic at unbalancing his opposite man and creating space for either the key pass or incisive shot.

Remarkably, so far this season, Pepe has 17 goals and 11 assists in 28 games, averaging a goal contribution in every single match in all competitions. While the Ivorian traditionally is not an orthodox winger in the sense that he will take on his defender at every opportunity, he does hold his width far more than the likes of Lingard and Mata, and has speed to burn.

Over the last few years, under Louis van Gaal and José Mourinho, Man United’s players have somewhat lacked the courage to move in a direct manner. There have been a lot of sideways passes and a crowding in the middle of the pitch – a lack of considerable width was missing from their game.

That has somewhat changed under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, but the right wing is still a problem area, with not enough happening down it in comparison to the left. Pepe, on the other hand, is an incredibly direct and forward-thinking player, he has the confidence to beat the player in front of him and the ability to pull it off nine times out of 10.

What has been so impressive about Pepe’s performances this season is the consistency. Some players can start explosively and peter out, but the Ivorian has kept up his goal rate and assist tally throughout the season, which is why some of Europe’s biggest clubs will be eyeing him up for a summer transfer.

Even if Lille are in a spot of financial bother, Pepe is unlikely to be sold for anything less than £50 million this summer. Given his age, ability shown and potential to take his game to the next level, the French club are going to play the long game during the transfer window and make sure that a bidding war arises. Based on what has been shown this season, Pepe looks to be one of the outstanding candidates from Europe’s top five leagues.

For a long time now, United have been longing for a goal-scoring right winger, someone to take the game by the horns and provide a threat every time they get the ball. In Martial, they have that on the left, and with Rashford they have it through the middle, but no one of the same ilk on the right. Pepe stakes a commendable claim to be the missing piece to Solskjær’s puzzle in attack.

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Lille and Lyon to fight it out for 2nd place in Ligue 1 as PSG go clear

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The Ligue 1 title is heading back to PSG, that is a certainty as the club have shot into a 10 point lead at the top. Not only that but the current French champions have 2 games in hand of 2nd place. This league is done and dusted and there is nothing to see here, well almost nothing.

Not many pundits and fans would have expected Lille who have been threatened with relegation in recent years to be in 2nd place, but that is where they are. Yes the league has gone but 2nd place means qualifying directly to the Champions League which would be a fantastic achievement for the club.

Lille have been nothing short of spectacular this season in France. Their consistency has been champion material it’s just unfortunate for them that PSG have been able to build such a strong team at the same time.

Lille have won 15 games this season from 24 and at home they have lost just one game all season. The good news for the club is that there is only one other realistic team that can catch them and that is Lyon. The other good news is that Lyon lost 1-0 to Nice last weekend which means that Lille has opened up a 6 point gap to 3rd place. Could playing in the Champions League really be a reality for the club next season?

Ligue 1 really has become a little boring this season with PSG running away with the title and that is why so much focus has gone on to 2nd and 3rd place. After all it is Lyon who are usually the team right up there and being France’s next best team. Not so this season and it is the common man and fan that would love to see Lille pip Lyon to that 2nd place- for Lille it would feel like they have won the league, make no mistake in that.

And Lille have some great players too- most notably Nicolas Pepe, who has scored some great and important goals this season and he is tipped to make a big name in Europe and World football as his career progresses. He is certainly checking all of the right boxes for Lille.

For Lille to finish 2nd it could all come down to May 4th, that is when they will play a potentially massive game against Lyon which could decide both clubs fate this season. The catch for Lille is that Lyon will be at home.

This little battle has become the most interesting in Ligue 1 this season.