PARIS - While many expected Paris Saint-Germain to reign supreme this season, the race for the French league title has turned into a three-team contest. Montell Owens Jersey
.Ahead of this weekends final round of matches before the winter break, the defending champion trails Marseille by one point, with Lyon just two points behind them.Pessimism is growing among PSG fans before Montpelliers visit to the Parc des Princes on Saturday. The team is not playing well, and Montpellier has lost only two of its last five trips to Paris. The Mediterranean side also overcame the big-spending club to win the French title in 2012 on a budget of $45 million.After claiming an eighth consecutive home win last week, seven-time champion Lyon travels to Bordeaux, and Marseille hosts Lille on Sunday.Here are some things to know about this weekends matches:___BIG STARS, NO SPIRIT:At least for now, PSG coach Laurent Blanc is more concerned with his players attitude than their results.The former France coach got some respite with a 3-1 win at Ajaccio in the League Cup midweek but is under growing pressure after back-to-back defeats against Barcelona in the Champions League and Guingamp in the league. Both mishaps have cruelly exposed PSGs lack of concentration and fighting spirit.In a team there are leaders and, when its not going the way you want, these leaders and also the coach, of course, they have to raise their game to ensure that the collective do, too, Blanc said.PSG has been enjoying possession a lot this season but is struggling to create chances.We were better last year, midfielder Thiago Motta said. We had a lot of the ball, but we knew exactly what we wanted to do with it, and what we needed to do with it to put our opponents in danger. With or without the ball we were playing more as a team.RABIOT LINKED WITH TOTTENHAM:Despite extending his contract with PSG until 2019 a few weeks ago, promising midfielder Adrien Rabiot has been linked with a move to English Premier League side Tottenham during the winter transfer window.According to LEquipe, Tottenham officials recently met the 19-year-old Rabiots mother to discuss a possible move to Spurs.Rabiot, who has been nurtured by PSG, has a tense relationship with coach Blanc, and has been involved in just four games this season.JOURDREN BETTING ON MARSEILLE:Goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren sees similarities between his Marseille and the 2012 Montpellier team that beat PSG to the title.I can see us in this team, both offensively and defensively. They dont concede and score a lot, the same way we did with Olivier Giroud, said Jourdren, who won the title alongside the France striker before his departure to Arsenal.Marseille, which lost at Monaco last weekend, has the leagues best attack, and only three teams have conceded fewer goals than Marcelo Bielsas side.TOURE EXTENDS DEAL:Up-and-coming Bordeaux striker Thomas Toure has signed a new four-year deal that should keep him at the club until 2019. The 20-year-old Toure, who has scored twice and delivered four assists in 15 games, was reportedly on Marseille radar. Graham Glasgow Jersey
. Assistant coaches are arguing on the sideline. A disgruntled star player isnt giving his best effort. DeAndre Levy Lions Jersey
. - Zach Redmonds power-play goal late in the third period lifted the St. http://www.thelionsshoponline.com/Youth-Jake-Rudock-Lions-Jersey/
.The visitors, who had lost their last four games at the Stadium of Light, fell behind in the 19th when Pablo Zabaletas attempted clearance deflected off Connor Wickham and into the net.Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford added a quadruple throw to their program this year to push themselves as much as to push the sport.The difficult element has helped propel the Canadians up the pairs figure skating rankings.Duhamel and Radford go into the Grand Prix Final this week ranked No. 2, trailing Olympic silver medallists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov of Russia.The two-time world bronze medallists spent much of the off-season perfecting the quad throw Salchow, which has Radford throwing Duhamel four revolutions through the air.Anything that pushes us and pushes the sport we feel is important, Duhamel said. Adding the throw quad to our skating has kept us really motivated, its encouraged us. . . and not just for us, were looking to push the sport of skating. Weve been seeing the throw triple Salchow for 30 or 40 years now, so I think its time that people push it and try harder things.Canada has three entries at the Final in Barcelona — Duhamel and Radford, and ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje, and Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier.Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont., had considered doing the throw quad years ago, but their coaches believed it wasnt worth the risk. They decided to add it this past off-season, and drew an audience when they were working on it during practices in Montreal.Every day it got closer and closer, eventually I would land on my feet and put my hand down, or I would step out, and it was so exciting for us and our coaches and teammates, they would all stand back and watch, and would be like Ooh, is this the one shes going to nail? Duhamel said.Then the one day we hit it clean with a lot of flow out of it, we were like, Oh thats it, thats what it feels like. And weve been able to repeat that feeling quite consistently.Duhamel landed the quad throw at Skate Canada International, but then fell on it at the NHK Trophy two weeks ago in Japan.The Canadians have a seasons best score of 210.74 points, just behind the Russians, whose best is 211.97. Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov, the only other pairs team in the world currently doing the quad throw, are also in the field.Partly because of the quad throw, Duhamel and Radford went into this season reinvigorated after a gruelling Olympic campaign that saw them finish seventh in Sochi.We dont have any fear when were skating anymore. Last year, I was always scared, I was scared we would lose, I was scared wed be bad, I was scared the other Canadian teams would score higher than me, Duhamel said. Im so happy. . . that I didnt decide to quit last year because I would never know what it feels like to skate with this freedom and relaxation that weve found.There was a lot of pressure last season, and at the end we realized we put too much pressure on ourselves, Radford added. We were always comparing ourselves with everybody else, rather than just concentrating on ourselves, and I think that weve just sort of learned to let all of that go, all of that extra worrying and energy that we put everywhere else.Weaver and Poje, from Waterloo, Ont., will also be in the gold-medal hunt in BBarcelona. Eric Ebron Jersey
. The Canadians have the seasons second-best ice dance score behind Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates.The post-Olympic landscape for ice dancing has changed with the absence of Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Americans Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and Weaver and Poje could be favourites three years from now at the Games in South Korea.Its been very exciting, its a new year, a new quadrennial and were happy to be at the forefront of it, and hoping to continue Canadas tradition of great domination in ice dance, Weaver said.Asked if theyd sought out any advice on how to handle the new pressures that came with heightened expectations, Weaver mentioned Canadian bobsledder Kaillie Humphries.The biggest thing she has is confidence in herself, and she knows how shes prepared and she knows that thats the best she can do, and I think thats what really exudes from her, Weaver said. Its tough in a different sport with something like bobsled where youre racing against the clock and you dont have to convince people youre the best. But that type of persona is fun to learn from, and I consider us pretty different individuals, but that strength of power and confidence is something I would love to bring as a part of our game as well.In mens singles, Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu hopes to defend his title and recover his winning form after a scary on-ice accident.Hanyu won last years final at home in Japan. He then started the year by claiming gold at the Sochi Games in February, and a month later he won the world title to become the first man to complete the Olympic-world double in the same year since Alexei Yagudin in 2002.But Hanyu, who turned 20 on Sunday, barely qualified for the Final after he was injured in a collision with another skater during warm-ups at the Cup of China in early November, receiving bruises on his head and hurting his left thigh.Three weeks later, he could only manage a fourth-place finish at the last of six qualifying events in Tokyo. That result, however, was just good enough for him to join the other five finalists and keep alive his bid to repeat.Ill be going to the final as a challenger, Hanyu said. It doesnt matter if you are Olympic champion, people know they can beat the Olympic champion. Ill be starting from scratch and aiming to get to the top by any means.Hanyu will be up against Japanese teammates Tatsuki Machida and Takahito Mura, Russian rivals Maxim Kovtun and Sergei Voronov, and Spanish skater Javier Fernandez.Fernandez, the European champion, trains in Canada with former Olympic silver medallist Brian Orser. Orser also coaches Hanyu.Four Russian teenagers will look for a possible medal sweep in the womens final against Ashley Wagner of the United States and Rika Hongo of Japan. Hongo qualified after American skater Gracie Gold withdrew because of a broken foot.The Russian contingent includes two-time junior world champion Elena Radionova (15), European champion and world silver medallist Julia Lipnitskaia (16), Anna Pogorilaya (16) and Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (17).— With files from The Associated Press. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China
' ' '