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Ligue 1 weekend preview

Eric Abidal is enjoying life at Monaco as he and his team-mates target another three points in their top-of-the-table clash at Marseille on Sunday.

Last Updated: 30/08/13 at 09:21 Post Comment

Eric Abidal: Thriving since he joined Monaco from Barcelona

Eric Abidal: Thriving since he joined Monaco from Barcelona

Abidal joined the big-spending principality club in the summer after Barcelona opted against offering him a new deal on health grounds - the 33-year-old underwent a liver transplant in April 2012.

He returned to his native France and has flourished as newly-promoted Monaco have made a strong start to the new Ligue 1 season under coach Claudio Ranieri, claiming seven points from their opening three games.

A trip along the south coast to the Stade Velodrome is their toughest test yet but Abidal is in confident mood.

He told RMC Sport: "The goal is to take all three points. We have had a good week to prepare and the coach is confident. The team is focused.

"Marseille are the leaders with nine points out of nine and will be at home but we can do something."

On his move to Monaco, he added: "I am very happy with my performances. I want to have fun on the field and bring my experience to ASM.

"The club gives me tremendous confidence and I feel good physically.

"The day my health will not allow me to play football, I will stop immediately."

Defending champions Paris St Germain have made a slow start with one win from their three games but will expect to build on last weekend's victory at Nantes when they host Guingamp at the Parc des Princes.

Coach Laurent Blanc goes into the weekend with the backing of club president Nasser Al Khelaifi, who believes the team is better now than it was under Blanc's predecessor Carlo Ancelotti.

Al Khelaifi told ligue1.com: "It's better than last season when we had just three points after three games.

"Carlo did a great job here. But today, even if there are a lot of things to improve, we're playing better than last season. And that's very important in my eyes.

"Recruiting Laurent was an excellent decision. His work is even better than what we had expected."

Lyon will look to bounce back from midweek Champions League disappointment when they go to Evian.

Remi Garde's side were beaten 2-0 by Real Sociedad to go out 4-0 on aggregate but will be confident of a return to winning ways against an Evian side propping up the rest.

Winless Toulouse will look to get off the mark at Bastia on Saturday while Lorient and Valenciennes meet at Le Moustoir.

Reims host Nantes, Lille visit Rennes and Sochaux take on Ajaccio.

On Sunday, Montpellier go to Nice while St Etienne face Bordeaux.

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ow are people still backing Arsenal for the title? It's like you're predicting the tide not to come in; Arsenal will finish third or fourth and make the quarter final of the Champions League. It was ever thus.

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F365's Season Predictions

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othing screams 'Panic!!' when your new manager brings Fellaini on as a sub for your star signing of the summer and within 5 minutes you concede the winner. I know it is only the first game in but I would seriously be sh1**ng myself I was a Man Utd supporter. This has the potential of being very nasty indeed.

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n the words of Pete Townsend, meet the new boss, the same as the old boss. Though I would comment that it's 3 more points than we picked up in the same fixture last year, so that's a 100% improvement.

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No Sign That Liverpool Will Lessen Attacking Intent

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