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Top 10: Europe's best teams at holding onto winning positions

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Top 10: Europe's best teams at holding onto winning positions   The ability to manage a game once you have taken the lead can be difference between winning a title or falling short and securing survival or being condemned to relegation. It’s something that some pride themselves on, with Jose Mourinho perhaps the most famous example of a manager tha...

The Expert: Lille’s rebuild already underway as takeover awaits

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The Expert: Lille’s rebuild already underway as takeover awaits   How great is a great escape if it’s already been done relatively recently? In the words of Sunday’s edition of L’Equipe, “only two weeks have gone by and we’re already asking ourselves if Lille are still concerned with the battle to stay up.” If the briefe...

Manchester derby and more in this week's top tips

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Manchester derby and more in this week's top tips   That moment when the two enemies appear on the field, and all you can in the calm before the storm is the noise of their rivalry filling the empty space. That is what happens when Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho are within a few metres of grass from one another. Although this time, th...

Resurgent Lille Go from Cellar Dwellers to Champions League Chasers

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Resurgent Lille Go from Cellar Dwellers to Champions League Chasers   If any team epitomises the haywire nature of this Ligue 1 campaign outside the bubble of Paris Saint Germain’s supremacy, then it is surely Lille. At the start of February, Les Dogues were three points above the drop zone, and had managed a miserable tally of 18 goals in 23 games. Afte...

League Focus: Five Observations From the First Half of Ligue 1 2015/16

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League Focus: Five Observations From the First Half of Ligue 1 2015/16   PSG's history boys    Though the neutral might regret that the Ligue 1 title race is effectively over at the halfway stage, there is no getting around Paris Saint-Germain’s excellence. Laurent Blanc’s team are so much better than last season, in which they gave their ri...

Team Focus: Antonetti’s Instant Impact at Lille

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Team Focus: Antonetti’s Instant Impact at Lille   “The change of coach doesn’t explain it,” said Lille’s Sofiane Boufal on Saturday night, struggling to put his finger on just how his team’s fortunes have taken a U-turn in the space of four days. “We’ve always worked hard.” There’s worki...

Team Focus: Can Montpellier or Lille Handle a European Campaign?

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Team Focus: Can Montpellier or Lille Handle a European Campaign? When Montpellier look back on this campaign, it is almost certain – judging four games from its climax – that they will do so with a certain satisfaction, bearing in mind their means, particularly compared to those of their Ligue 1 peers. Nevertheless, there have been a few bubbles of d...

WhoScored Tipster: The Weekend's Top Tips

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WhoScored Tipster: The Weekend's Top Tips   As we return from the international break this is one of those very rare weeks in which there is not really any direct encounters between clubs at top of the table in any of Europe's top 5 leagues. In the Premier League City host Tottenham but Spurs still haven't shown any signs of leadershi...

Team Focus: Lille Still Not Pretty, but Hard to Budge

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Team Focus: Lille Still Not Pretty, but Hard to Budge   It was, as L’Equipe later wrote with some understatement, “a strange day” at the Stade Louis II. With Monaco’s late withdrawal of Radamel Falcao from their squad – and his subsequent presence next to agent Jorge Mendes and Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev in...

WhoScored Tipster: The Weekend's Top Tips

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WhoScored Tipster: The Weekend's Top Tips   The weekend's betting hints at safe bets in Serie A, some risk in France and the chance to dare for big money in Germany, while the Premier League stops for the FA Cup. The most intriguing match is Fiorentina vs Inter, where goals should be expected.   LIKELY BETS   Fiorentina vs I...

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