Lucien Favre's extended honeymoon on the Cote d'Azur pits his surprise Ligue 1 leaders Nice against Lorient this weekend, while Lyon host bitter foes Saint-Etienne in the Rhone derby. Favre, who replaced Southampton-bound Claude Puel in the summer, has overseen a remarkable start to his tenure at the Allianz Riviera with Nice the league's sole remaining unbeaten side. "To have 17 points after seven matches is magnificent," said Favre, following Sunday's 1-0 victory at Nancy that kept Les Aiglons a point clear of neighbours Monaco.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned down a staggering offer worth 100 million euros ($111.6M) from an unnamed Chinese club in the summer, according to his agent Mino Raiola. The Swedish striker moved to Manchester United on a free transfer in the summer after his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expired. Ibrahimovic is reported to earn in excess of 200,000 pounds-per-week ($259,220) at Old Trafford, but Raiola claims he could have lined his pockets even further had he decided to move to the Far East.
Theo Walcott's first-half goals and Alexis Sanchez's boundless energy helped Arsenal to a straightforward 2-0 win over Basel in the Champions League on Wednesday. Walcott opened the scoring in the seventh minute when a long ball over the top found Sanchez, who ran down the left before crossing into the box. An unmarked Walcott darted behind the defense to power a header beyond the reach of Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik.