When comparing the size of London and Paris, there are many similarities. Both are mega cities with more than 8 million inhabitants. There are flamboyant shopping streets on both sides of the channel. The biggest disparity between the two however, is number of football clubs in the top divisions of French and English football. London has five clubs in the Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Fulham and QPR while Paris St. Germain are the only club representing Paris in Ligue 1.
The Status of Football in Paris
Red Star and Paris FC are the two clubs in the third division fighting to be recognized as the number two club in Paris. There are Creteil in this division too, taking the figure to four football clubs across three divisions that represent Paris or are at least are based near Paris. This is representative of the status football enjoys in France, where cycling is the national sport but Judo, Handball and others are considered to be more popular than good old football. To contradict this theory however, the daily sports paper L’Equipe devotes on average five pages per day to football and certainly the sport is its major selling factor.
Home Advantage Red Star?
Red Star go into this match on the back of a defeat at the hands of Cherbourg which leaves them five points clear of the relegation zone with 28 points. Their home record is strong, four victories in the last four games while Paris who have beaten Vannes last weekend have recorded one draw and three defeats in the last four matches, thus giving an edge to Red Star. However, as this is played on the outskirts of Paris, a win can not be guaranteed for Red Star. If anything, it promises to be an entertaining match in which the home advantage for Red Star is anything but a given.