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The Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby recently revealed he is close to making a return from the knee injury he got in March 2013 and maybe even play in the World Cup 2014.

Since the injury he hasn’t been able to play but have a strong determination to get back in his former strength and shape. People are already placing bets on the World Cup and taking the opportunity to play with GoWild Casino promo code.

Diaby says he is very close to his rehabilitation and keeping things in perspective. He is very impatient but has his goal clear to him, to be back strong and in perfect ease in his body.

“I work hard without asking questions. I work hard because I know in the end I will play again. I am still a high level footballer in my mind, otherwise I would have given up. But I never think to give it up.”

His dedication and conviction to get well and be able to play again is impressive and he definitely has the right mindset to get back on the field, he aims to be back in March 2014.

“My priorities? Feeling fine and play again before the end of the season. I don’t think I will be scared to play. I trust my body. Nowadays I feel strong, but I know coming back to London I will also have some changes. I am watching closely my diet and recovering periods.” Diaby tells.

Diaby has a place in the French national team, and is hoping to be ready to play in the World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

The 27-year old was born in the 10th arrondissement of Paris and been playing for Red Star Paris, Auxerre and now Arsenal. Unfortunately he been struggling with numerous injuries the past years, but he has not giving up on become fully recovered and pursue his career.

 

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category: France
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AC Amiens coach Azouz Hamdane will be sick of the sight of Lille come Sunday afternoon. At the end of November they travelled north to take on local side Villeneuve d’Ascq Metropole in the last round of the cup, the game went to extra-time and then was suspended due to fog.

Eventually it was restarted and the away side edged a 2-1 victory.

It was a cold and horrible night, not one for the neutral, with the crowd not able to see VAM’s late equaliser until it hit the back of the net. ACA had been found off the pace that evening and the trend continued the next weekend when they again had to make the trip to Lille, this time to take on LOSC’s CFA side at the same Stade Annexe, next door to the old Stade Lille Metropole.

This time it would end in defeat as Hamdane’s side would lose out to a Nicolas Perez 50th minute penalty. To put things into perspective, Lille II sit top of CFA Group A with 39 points and only one defeat. Amiens are 8th out of 16 teams on 30 points, five wins and six defeats. The odds are firmly stacked against the fourth tier side, and there is no way they should be able to overcome Ligue 1’s third place team, but this is the Coupe de France, so anything can happen. We spoke to Samantha Craig from Freebetking.co.uk who stated “Sky Bet are going 2/13 about the away side and if you are having a bet it looks like a decent wager to boost any accumulators as Lille are almost nailed on to win, if the handicap betting is available Lille -2 looks a sure bet”.

Amiens’ goal threat will come from forward Mohamed Tagaye and midfielder Mickael Despois de Folleville, as both have four goals each this season, over 70% of the total amount of goals Amiens have managed in total. Another player to watch is exciting midfielder creator Rayane Aabid.

Aabid was born in Lille’s Pont-de-Bois area, minutes away from the Stade Lille Metropole ground that LOSC called home for seven years. The area has a heavy North-African influence, and Aabid’s family hail from Morocco; ata young age, as well as playing for Villeneuve d’Ascq’s U15 side, he helped his father in the popular Wazemmes market on the weekend.

LOSC showed an interest in young Aabid, and after a spell at Armentieres in the Division d’Honneur, he now has a chance to show LOSC what they missed out on. What a fairy-tale story it would be if the 21-year-old could stun the Ligue 1 side, although he would probably have to hide his face for a while when he returned back to his home in Lille. All worth the the price of fame though.

This Sunday it is Amiens turn to play host to the northern club; the game will be played at the Stade de la Licorne, home of the town’s bigger side, Amiens SC. This was the venue last year for their first-ever appearance in this stage of the cup, when they were beaten by Evian on penalties after conceding an injury-time equaliser. Expect a hostile crowd of 12,000 locals to descend and give minnows AC a rousing partisan home support. The short journey will see LOSC bring a fair number of away fans which should make for an excellent atmosphere. The last time Lille came to Amiens was at the end of last season, the game finished 4-1 to the away side…and that was the second string. It is looking very much like Mission Impossible for les Bleus et Blanc, but isn’t that what the Coupe de France is all about?

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category: France
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French side Lille travel to Bordeaux on Sunday afternoon, currently in second place in Ligue 1 and on a run of form that can only be described as magnificent. Their 92nd minute winner at home against Marseille made it 11 consecutive clean sheets for Les Dogues and their 14th of the season overall. A fantastic return after only 16 games. The secret behind this has of course been their defence. New coach René Girard has come into the side and taken an unlikely group of defenders, and turned them into the best defence in Europe. Not bad for a coach who had to convince the supporters at the start of the season that he was the right man for the job. Only one point behind Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the league, now the supporters are starting to believe something special is happening this would be 10 times bigger than their 2011 title campaign if they could pull it off.

René Girard led Montpellier unexpectedly to the 2011/12 Le Championnat, beating off the mega-riches of PSG to win La Paillade’s first ever Ligue 1 crown. Now he is using the same approach to construct a tough, well organised, well-disciplined Lille side. At Montpellier he was praised for his attacking players – Olivier Giroud, Younes Belhanda – but it was the defence that was the catalyst. The back four rarely changed the experience of Vitorino Hilton, the youth of Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa, and the energy and drive of full-backs Henri Bedimo and Garry Bocaly.

Now he is following the same pattern at his new club. Danish defender Simon Kjaer joined from Wolfsburg and he provides the energy and spark in the centre, paired with the excellent and vastly experienced Marko Basa, these two have clicked almost instantaneously. Franck Beria is the only member of the title winning defence left, he has returned to his natural right-back role, still eager to get forward, but provides that extra defensive cover. The left-back slot was meant to be a problem position. Promising youngster Lucas Digne moved to PSG for €15 million in the summer, Lille’s only true left-back, Pape Souare, had spent the previous season on loan at Reims, and although he did ok, he wasn’t regarded as anything special. How times have changed. Souare has been one of the revelations of the season so far. He has speed, strength and a determination to get forward, like so many of today’s modern-day full-backs, but he is also excellent in defence.

Never one to shy away from a tackle, Souare is full-bloodied, committed and an overall excellent defender. He has a wonderful aerial presence in and around the box, that has led to the Senegalese international scoring three goals so far this season, two of them match winners, against Montpellier and Toulouse. Souare has stepped up and made claim to the left-back role and made it his own, claim your football betting coupon, and perhaps you can be as successful as Pape Souare has this season. There was even a recent story linking his with a move to Manchester United. It is a little too soon for that kind of talk, but people are starting to sit up and take notice.

The real star of the defence though, has been Nigerian goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. Signed 2 years ago by then coach Rudi Garcia, it was determined that Enyeama wasn’t as good as the #1 Mickael Landreau, so he was loaned out to Israeli side Hapoel Tel-Aviv. Landreau left midway from the season, Former Brest goalkeeper Steeve Elana was made the number 1 and Enyeama stayed in Israel. With Girard in charge that all changed, there was open competition for the #1 jersey and Enyeama started the season between the sticks. Little did anyone know what was about to happen. After conceding a goal to Nice on the stroke of half-time on the 15th of September, Enyeama would spend the next 1035 minutes unbeaten. This included trips to Lyon, Montpellier and Nantes, and the visits of Monaco, Toulouse and Marseille. The all –time French football record is 1176 minutes without conceding, held by Gaëtan Huard of Bordeaux back in 1992-93. Enyeama will have to see off Bordeaux on Sunday, and then keep a clean sheet for over 50 minutes vs. Bastia to break the record.

If Enyeama can break the record, and Lille goes on to win both games, it sets up a very exciting trip to Paris just before the Winter break. A win in the capital would potentially see Lille crowned autumn champions, then you would have to consider them favourites to go on a life the real thing. Unthinkable when René Girard took over this summer.

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After a summer of discontent it seems the Arsenal rumourmill has gone into overdrive. And once again the rumour wheel of fortune has landed on the name of Eden Hazard. As soon as Samir Nasri’s deal to Manchester City was done and dusted the “Hazard to Arsenal” rumours quickly snowballed to somewhat of a frenzy, even the BBC got in on the act.

Arsene Wenger and the club have been very quiet. Wenger dismissed reports of a £6m bid for Bolton’s Gary Cahill and nothing else was reported. On Thursday night French website Mercato 365 released a “story” that Hazard had agreed terms with Arsenal and a deal would be done for around €35m. Now let’s get a few things straight, Mercato365 is not a respected media outlet, to be honest it’s actually worse than talkSPORT.

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Over the past 12 months I have wrote quite a few articles about Eden Hazard and as the links to Arsenal have reared their ugly head again I suppose it is only right to share those pieces again.

I don’t personally believe he will leave the Stade Lille Metropole this summer, with only eight days left in the window it doesn’t make sense for Lille to part with the Belgian forward regardless of the price offered. However as I’ve always said…..you never know.

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Hi everyone, sorry for the lack of activity on this blog. Time is a wonderful thing, but it seems like I just don’t have enough of it to go around. Most days I am writing something, just not for GFS. If you would still like to read my work please go on over to French Football Weekly and read what I am saying over there.

 

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Ligue 1’s final match-day saw seven teams including Caen on the verge of relegation. Hoping to avoid defeat they would play host to 2nd place Marseille in what was always going to be a tough end to the season.

Against the odds it was Franck Dumas’ side that took a surprise early lead through Yohan Mollo’s 7th minute strike. With half time approaching the home fans were hoping to go into the break with their slender lead intact.

Midfield maestro Benjamin Nivet received the ball inside the centre circle and with a lovely ball out wide he found 16-year old striker M’Baye Niang racing through on goal. The youngster charged into the box and then with the composure of a veteran finisher he calmly stroked the ball past Steve Mandanda giving his team an unlikely 2-0 lead. Marseille would come back to level the game late on, but Caen were safe and there was no doubt in anyone’s mind, M’Baye Niang was the real deal.

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“Don’t be fooled by the calendar.  There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.”  ~Charles Richards

Transfer negotiators at Arsenal take note. Most summers at the Emirates are spent embroiled in the latest drawn out transfer saga. More often than not it involves Cesc Fabergas, the “will he won’t he” drama that fills most windows has at least been complimented this Summer with the potential purchase of Ivory Coast winger Gervinho from French champions Lille.

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Sunday night saw the end of the 2010/11 season in Ligue 1 and Andrew and Chris have recorded their last regular podcast of the season to discuss all the thrills and spills of the final days action.

After rounding up all the best action from Week 38 in Ligue 1 they then discuss some of the comings and going from the league. A look at who will be joining the league from Ligue 2 and doff a cap toward Les Bleus three international matches next week.

You can listen to the podcast here or if you right-click on that link, you can download the MP3.

Alternatively, you can subscribe via your reader of choice or via our iTunes feed.

Like Facebook? Like the French Football Weekly page.

Follow the French Football Weekly on Twitter.

 

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Tonight was a very emotional night in Lille. The Champions managed to see off Rennes 3-2 – Moussa Sow with his third hat-trick of the season which saw the Senegalese striker pick up the Trophee du Meilleur Buteur for Ligue 1’s top scorer. Near the end of the game midfielder Yohan Cabaye was replaced by Stephane Dumont. This wasn’t due to a bad performance or a tactical decision it was a chance for Cabaye to say his goodbyes.

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