Lille eye title, PSG chase Lyon
Lille stand on the brink of their first Ligue 1 title in 57 years, but must go into the lair of a wounded animal as they bid to wrap it up this weekend. Les Dogues need a point from their final two games to take the title, but their first opportunity comes away to Paris St Germain on Saturday.
Lille beat PSG in the Coupe de France final last weekend, and the Parisiens then suffered another defeat, 1-0 away to Bordeaux, last night, to leave them two points behind Lyon in the race for the final UEFA Champions League spot.
The recriminations have been flying in the wake of that loss, led by club president Robin Leproux. "I'm pretty upset, because the players have failed," he said in L'Equipe. "When any club's staff and supporters are waiting to get into the Champions League and then see at the end of the season we play a game and fail to make any impact, this is a matter of mindset. We are out of third and maybe even fourth place and it is no longer in our hands. We'll settle this between us."
PSG can at least take heart from Lyon's own poor form, as they only drew 1-1 with Brest to stay within reach. Manager Claude Puel is now telling his players they must ignore PSG and focus on rediscovering the winning touch. "Whether Paris were two points behind, or one, or one in front, it would be no different," he said. "We must remain focused on our final two games.The goal is six points."
Marseille need something of a miracle to defend their title as they head to Valenciennes, and instead the focus has been on injuries with confirmation that Andre-Pierre Gignac needs an operation on his groin that should allow him to be fit for next season.
At the other end, Lens are all-but down already, but can delay the inevitable until the final day of the season if they can beat basement side Arles and Monaco fail to win at Montpellier. Monaco are one point adrift of safety, but have a better goal difference than 17th-placed Nancy, who face a difficult trip to Rennes.
Nice and Brest are also looking over their shoulders, only two points outside the drop zone. Brest travel to Auxerre, while Nice are at home to a Lorient side hoping to chase down Sochaux for the final Europa League spot. Sochaux take on St Etienne while Toulouse host Bordeaux.