Week 10 has arrived in the Division 1 Féminine and with it comes two early kick-offs that could potentially make this season another two horse race or bring two of France's most well-known teams back into contention as we head into the end of the calendar year.
At the bottom of the table, teams currently trying to move away from the relegation zone will be facing each other in what could be potential "six-pointers" for all teams involved. Altogether, fans can look forward to a huge weekend in the top division and one that could have lasting effects for the rest of the season.
Juvisy look to bounce back against PSG in Parisienne derby
Not many would have expected FCF Juvisy's loss in the previous round to Olympique de Marseille but it happened and the side from from the Viry-Châtillon find themselves in fifth place right now and twelve points off the pace. This weekend, they face familiar rivals in Paris Saint-Germain who themselves have managed eight wins out of eight so far this season, keeping their title hopes alive.
For Juvisy to produce the result they want on Saturday, more players other than Camille Catala and Kadidiatou Diani need to step and find their form. In particular, captain Gaëtane Thiney needs to show more than what she was produced this season and with no goals so far in this campaign, the French international needs to get her season started and quickly. PSG on the other hand, seem to be firing on all cylinders.
The addition of Verónica Boquete into their midfield has allowed the likes of Marie-Laure Delie and Christiane to flourish in the forward line and allowed PSG to stay on track to challenge for the title once again. All roads point to a PSG win but Juvisy is not a team to be taken lightly. Expect a close game with PSG proving too good for Juvisy especially considering the current form of both teams.
Montpellier look to pull back leaders Lyon
The other big match of the weekend sees Montpellier HSC travel to Olympique Lyonnais in another big match on Saturday which will kick off at the same time as the PSG-Juvisy match. Lyon currently sit on top of the table, tied on points with PSG but ahead due to goal difference while Montpellier are three points away from the league leaders and hoping to gain some ground when the two teams face each other this weekend.
Lyon have been virtually unstoppable this season, winning all eight of their last eight games while Montpellier continue to pick up points in all manner of ways. This game, like the other 9am kick-off match, could go either way as both teams have what it takes to win but as Lyon are at home, it would be hard to bet against them.
For the hosts, Eugénie Le Sommer has started the season quickly with ten goals already to her name. Le Sommer is also helped by the form of Ada Hegerberg who continues to be the cream of the European, and quite possibly the world game.
The Norwegian currently has nine goals for the season and looks set to equal or better her return of 33 goals last season. Lyon have also added to their roster and although German superstar Dzsenifer Marozsán is still out with injury, French midfielder Camille Abily has shown no signs of slowing down and continues to lead Lyon's midfield to victory after victory.
Montpellier will not fear these players and they know that within their own ranks, they have enough to come away with a big three points this weekend. Sofia Jakobsson is also finding the back of the net on a regular basis with eight goals so far this season and will be a threat to the PSG defense. The form of goalkeeper Solène Durand has also allowed Montpellier to keep in touch with the league leaders as she has kept five clean sheets so far this season.
Marseille look to build from last week's win as they face Metz
Olympique de Marseille provided the shock result of week 9 when they toppled Juvisy at home and they will look to build on that result against bottom-placed FC Metz. Marseille are two points away from the relegation zone having played a game less that their opponents this weekend and another three points this weekend would increase that distance even further as the hosts bid to stay in the top division this season.
Metz, however, are struggling and with only one point from nine games, need to start finding wins, and goals, quickly or they will be looking at an uphill battle for survival for the rest of the season. Metz will look to that one point which came in the previous round as a source of confidence which they will need when they travel to Marseille.
Marseille will look to forward Viviane Asseyi who has three goals for the season to lead the line well again while captain Sandrine Brétigny will continue to provide veteran leadership alongside Asseyi as Marseille look to propel themselves up the table. Metz will need to keep things tight at the back if they want to come away with any points from this game and they will also hope that Brazilian midfielder Simone can have another stellar game and keep them in the hunt for safety.
Guingamp look to Europe as they battle Soyaux
EA Guingamp would not have expected to be in the conversation for a push for a European place at the start of the season but they head into Week 10 in fourth and knowing that a win against a resilient ASJ Soyaux side will push them closer to the top two places in the table. Moroccan forward Salma Amani is on fire at the moment for Guingamp with six goals in eight appearances and will be key to any success the team from Brittany plan on achieving this season.
Soyaux are no pushovers though and continue to be a difficult team for most in the league to pick up a win against. Soyaux's Laura Bourgouin has six goals for the season and will prove to be thorn in the side for any defense and as the visitors square off against Guingamp, they will look to Bourgouin to help them pick up all three points.
Rodez need to find last season's magic
AF Rodez will be away to FC Girondins de Bordeaux this weekend as they try and rediscover the style of play that allowed them to have such a memorable 2015/2016 season. A run of four losses in their last five games leaves last season's dark horses scrambling to stay above the relegation zone this season. Bordeaux are not faring that much better than their opponents this weekend but the expectations for them differ from those of Rodez as they are a newly promoted team.
The key player in this match up will be Bordeaux's Sarah Cambot. The 23 year old striker has four goals so far this season and will be looking to add to that tally against the league's worst defense in Rodez, who have conceded 30 goals after eight games. For Rodez, captain Marine Haupais needs to marshall her team and her defense better or it will be a long season for the team that finished in fifth last season and currently find themseves sitting in ninth.
Saint-Étienne look to continue their good start to the season
AS Saint-Étienne have had a bright start to the seasona nd find themselves heading into Week 10 in sixth with a game in hand on those around them in the table. Their opponents, ASPTT Albi are second-to-last and need to start picking up points as soon as possible to stay in touch with the teams above the relegation zone.
Audrey Chaumette has been a key cog in Saint-Étienne's play this season. Her five goals have helped her side propl themselves into sixth and continues to help the side stay comfortably in midtable. For Albi, midfielder Tatiana Solanet has had a quiet start to the season and it has hampered their play so far. For Albi to move out of the relegation zone, she and her teammates must find another gear or they could be looking at playing football in the second division this time next year.