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Bordeaux To Bolster Ligue 1 Status

One of the least talked about ties in the Round of 16, Bordeaux’s match-up with Olympiacos, could turn out to be one of the most important in shaping the face of the Champions League as well as French football. Lyon’s ouster of Real Madrid last week combined with a potential advancement by Les Girondins would put two Ligue 1 clubs in the quarter-finals, which last occurred when Monaco reached the finals back in the 2003-2004 season.

Looking at the domestic form of Les Girondins does not fill one with confidence. They club has failed to win any of their last three games in a run that has threatened their Ligue 1 title defence. Over the course of the last ten days Bordeaux have been held by Montpellier, defeated by Auxerre and held to a scoreless draw by Monaco. It must be said that Bordeaux manager Laurent Blanc has taken the opportunity to rest some key players such as star players Yoann Gourcuff and Marouane Chamakh.

Bordeaux hold a narrow one goal advantage from the first-leg but it is an away goal so Olympiacos will need to win by at least a 2-1 or 2-0 scoreline to advance. Olympiacos has had a domestic dynasty in recent seasons, having won the last five Greek Super League championships, and having been crowned champions in nine of the last 10 seasons overall, they currently lie third behind Panathinaikos and PAOK (Panthessalonikian Athletic Club of Constantinopolitans). They still have two games to play against leaders Panathinaikos (who hold a 7-point lead) so they still have a chance albeit a slight one.

Making this an even more uphill battle, Olympiacos have not won away from home in the Champions League proper since a 2-1 group-stage triumph at Lazio in November of 2007. That was their second away success in three games, having had to wait 31 matches for their first, but they have lost three of their four matches since that Lazio victory with the other result being a draw. Kostas Mitroglou will need to lead the line for Olympiacos and hope that he can add to his team-leading haul of 3 Champions League goals.

I foresee a Bordeaux win and a historic night for French football.

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  1. Sam Davis

    March 17, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Nice to see some love for Bordeaux on a major footy blog. Unfortunately, while it might put Ligue 1 on the map for a short while (although Marseille is still nothing to mess with) I foresee Bordeaux perhaps falling by the wayside after this season with Chamakh a definite to leave and Gourcuff another likely departure.

    I’d say I hope that more people tune in to see the match, but to be honest, when Bordeaux win, it’s usually due to their defense and thus you’re more likely to see the sort of performance that our boys at OT put out early in the EPL season. Boring, grind-it-out, 1-0 victories. If Olympiacos can come in and score one early, will certainly have a game, but I see Bordeaux going through in their usual boring, yet comfortable fashion.

    I’m pullin’ for a United/Bordeaux matchup in the quarters though and for Gourcuff to finally put on a show like he did so often last season. We win the tie, but Fergie finally finds Yoann on his radar and we all know what Fergie normally does when a player does well against us…

    • Sam Davis

      March 17, 2010 at 1:12 am

      It should read, “If Olympiacos can come in and score one early, WE’LL certainly have a game…”

  2. sucka99

    March 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Will France gain another CL spot? I know Inter winning today means they get to keep their 4th.

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