Once is not customary, the end of the season in Ligue 1 promises to be thrilling. And the 36th day, which begins this Friday evening, could have huge consequences. In the race for the title between PSG and Lille, the battle for 3rd place, for 5th, and that, fierce, for maintenance.
The duel for the title: Lille and Paris against two pieces
1. Lille, 76 points (moves to Lens tonight, 9 p.m.)
2. PSG, 75 points (travels to Rennes on Sunday, 9 p.m.)
Since last Sunday and the defeat of Monaco against Lyon, they are only two – except surprise – to be able to dream of the title. Two clubs that go blow for blow this season: LOSC and PSG. The Lille will open the ball this Friday evening, with a derby, THE North derby, on the ground of Lens. Without doubt one of the most important in recent history, despite the regrettable absence of supporters.
Christophe Galtier said it last weekend: “It will be a turning point”. Even if the Lille technician then qualified his remarks (“I do not think he will be decisive”), a success in the derby would strengthen a little more the dynamics of the Mastiffs, before the last two games against Saint-Etienne and Angers. It would also put enormous pressure on PSG, which would find itself provisionally at four points until Sunday. But the thing will not be easy, since Lens still has things to play, and, as Gaël Kakuta slipped, intends to deprive the neighbor of a coronation.
Paris will travel to Rennes on Sunday evening. A perilous journey, since the Bretons, even if they lost in Bordeaux, are doing well lately, and because we do not really know in what state of mind Mauricio Pochettino’s players will be after their elimination in the semi-final of Champions League Tuesday night …
The fight for third place: Monaco and Lyon will continue the fight
3. Monaco, 71 pts (travels to Reims on Sunday, 5:05 p.m.)
4. Lyon, 70 pts (receives Lorient on Saturday, 5 p.m.)
A general fight, a shower of reds, and above all, a Lyon victory. While Monaco had the possibility of almost validating its third place last weekend and therefore its qualification for the Champions League, it was OL who won against Louis-II in chaos (3-2 ), to return to a small point of ASM.
Boosted by this success, Rudi Garcia’s protégés now want to overtake the Principality’s club and climb on the podium. The reception of the promoted Lorient, Saturday, could allow them to spend a few hours at least in front of Monaco. Problem: Lyon are regular in the irregularity, and will have to happen for this match of Marcelo, Depay, De Sciglio, Caqueret (suspended), and perhaps of Denayer, Bard, Slimani and Benlamri, injured.
Monaco, he will have to do without Geubbels and Pellegri, involved in the Sunday brawl, without Jovetic, still in the infirmary, probably without Diop, while Golovin and Martins are just recovering from Covid-19. The trip to Reims on Sunday will therefore not be easy. Even if the Champagne club, which has nothing more to play, has been on the loose lately.
The race for the last ticket (s) for Europe: OM advantage over this weekend?
5. Lens, 56 points (receives Lille this evening, 9 p.m.)
6.OM, 56 points (moves to Saint-Etienne on Sunday, 1 p.m.)
7. Rennes, 54 points (receives PSG Sunday, 9 p.m.)
If we assume that PSG or Monaco will win the Coupe de France, the 5th in Ligue 1 should spin in the Europa League, and the 6th in the Conference League. Three teams are therefore still competing for two tickets for the next continental competitions. And we can bet that they will not all win this weekend …
As explained previously, Lens and Rennes face the two top names in L1, Lille and Paris, and will have a lot to do. It is therefore OM which could stand out during this 36th day, with a trip to the Saint-Etienne field on Sunday, which has just ensured its maintenance and could perhaps show a certain looseness. Still, Jorge Sampaoli’s men did not show much against the Strasbourg low block last Friday (1-1).
The battle for maintenance: Nantes-Bordeaux, the match of fear
15. Bordeaux, 39 points (moves to Nantes on Saturday, 1 p.m.)
16. Strasbourg, 38 points (receives Montpellier Sunday, 3 p.m.)
17. Lorient, 38 points (travels to Lyon on Saturday, 5 p.m.)
18. Nantes, 34 points (receives Bordeaux on Saturday, 1 p.m.)
19. Nîmes, 32 points (moves to Metz on Sunday, 3 p.m.)
They haven’t won much this season, but they decided to do it all at the same time last Sunday … While Bordeaux thought they had almost saved their skin by beating Rennes (1-0), the Girondins saw Nantes in the wake win in Brest (4-1), and Lorient beat Angers (2-0), to maintain the pressure.
It is an understatement to say that the non-derby of the Atlantic between Canaries and Bordelais, Saturday at lunch time, is important. A home victory for FCN would allow Antoine Kombouaré’s men to aim for direct maintenance, without going through dams. Any other result would put him in a delicate position, and would validate a priori the Bordeaux posture, already well on board.
But everything will also depend on the performance of Lorient in Lyon, and Strasbourg – which has not won for a month – against Montpellier. For Nîmes, who will face OL and Rennes in the last two days, the match in Metz looks like the last chance.