Ligue 1 preview

Chantome ready for work ahead

August 11, 2011

Paris St Germain midfielder Clement Chantome accepts his team will have their work cut out to topple Rennes this weekend as the Ligue 1 favourites look to bounce back from their shock opening-weekend defeat against Lorient.

Clement Chantome
GettyImagesClement Chantome is relishing the prospect of taking on Barcelona

The big-spending capital club went down 1-0 at the Parc des Princes last Saturday and will be desperate to kickstart their campaign when they visit the Route de Lorient, but will find themselves up against a Rennes side brimming with confidence.

Les Rouges et Noirs earlier this month completed a 7-2 aggregate triumph over Georgian outfit Metalurgi Rustavi in the Europa League third qualifying round before beginning their league campaign with a 5-1 win at newly-promoted Dijon.

A wary Chantome said: "I think we will look at the Rennes team this weekend when the international players have returned. We saw their first game. It is a team that had prepared for the Europa League qualifier and was therefore ready physically for the first day. We know we will have a tough game against an athletic team. For us to respond to this will be a physical challenge.''

Lorient will be looking to take another big scalp this weekend when they host 2009 champions Bordeaux, who went down 2-1 at home to St Etienne last Sunday.

Les Girondins forward Jussie said: "Lorient have already created a surprise by winning in Paris on Saturday, but I do not think it was a surprise. Lorient are a very good team. People talk about surprise because PSG have done a lot of recruitment, but the group have not yet developed.''

He added on Girondins' official website: "It's hard to play there because the surface is not the same. The pitch is synthetic. We must adapt.''

Marseille, held to a 2-2 home draw by Sochaux last weekend, visit Auxerre on Sunday. OM midfielder Alou Diarra, a summer signing from Bordeaux, has been impressed so far with what he has seen of his new coach, Didier Deschamps.

"He is a leader who, wherever he has been, has had the spirit of a winner,'' Diarra told OM's official website. "He is a meticulous. He neglects nothing, and that's why he's a winner.''

Also on Sunday, champions Lille - who could only draw 1-1 at Nancy five days ago - take on Montpellier in their first home game, while promoted Evian tackle Nice.

Evian's fellow top-flight new boys Ajaccio suffered a 2-0 home reverse against Toulouse last weekend and it will not get any easier on Saturday when they travel to the Stade Gerland to take on Remi Garde's Lyon - 3-1 winners at Nice.

In other games on Saturday, Toulouse face Dijon, St Etienne take on Nancy, Sochaux host Caen and Valenciennes play Brest.