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Ligue 1 Previews – Week 37

With a huge Saturday night of Ligue 1 fixtures to come, check out our comprehensive preview.

Lyon vs Monaco (20:00 GMT)

Lyon take on Monaco at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in a crucial match in the race for Champions League qualification. Hosts Lyon head into the match in second place, albeit on goal difference only, a spot which would confirm them a place in next season’s Champions League group stage. They are certainly in decent form right now, having lost just one of their previous 13 league outings.

Monaco, meanwhile, sit in third, knowing that they need to win this match in order to overhaul their opponents in the standings. Third position in the table requires a potentially tricky Champions League qualifier in August, a challenge neither team ideally wants to face. Monaco overcame Guingamp 3-2 last weekend, a result which left them four points clear of St Etienne in fourth. Barring two defeats in their last two games, both Lyon and Monaco look like finishing in the top three, but this match will go a long way in deciding who gets the easier passage into the Champions League.

Earlier this season, these two sides drew 1-1 at the Stade Louis II.

Nice vs St Etienne (20:00 GMT)

Nice meet St Etienne at the Allianz Riviera in a clash between two teams fighting for European qualification. The hosts head into this match one place and one point below their opponents but will require just a draw to leapfrog them in the table due to their superior goal difference.

St Etienne, of course, will be eager to see that this does not happen, and can all but confirm a Europa League position of their own if they win. A top three finish looks to be unlikely for both of these teams, but with Lyon and Monaco playing each other this weekend, a victory for either team in this match will put them in pole position to capitalise if either Lyon or Monaco were to lose both of their remaining games.

Earlier this season, Nice thrashed St Etienne 4-1 at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

Lille vs Guingamp (20:00 GMT)

Lille will be hoping to boost their chances of qualifying for next season’s Europa League when they face Guingamp at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy. The hosts currently sit sixth in the table and are in a four-way fight with St Etienne, Nice and Rennes for the Europa League qualification positions. Lille are certainly in good form right now, having lost just once in their last 14 league outings.

Guingamp, on the other hand, have very little left to play for. Jocelyn Gourvennec’s men are now mathematically safe from relegation and are all but guaranteed to finish in the bottom half, as a 3-2 loss to Monaco last time out dropped them down to 15th.

Earlier this season, these two sides drew 1-1 at the Stade du Roudourou.

Montpellier vs Rennes (20:00 GMT)

Montpellier and Rennes meet at the Stade de la Mosson on Saturday in a match that the visitors have to win if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for Europe next season. Hosts Montpellier are in decent form right now, having won each of their last three league games, but have very little to play for in truth, other than a top half finish.

Rennes, though, need all three points to stay in touching distance of St Etienne, Nice and Lille in the race for Europa League qualification. Anything less than a win will all but end their chances and the form book is certainly not in the visitor’s favour; Rennes have lost three of their last four league games, including a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of PSG last weekend.

Earlier this season, Rennes beat Montpellier 1-0 at Roazhon Park.

Toulouse vs Troyes (20:00 GMT)

Toulouse face already relegated Troyes at the Stadium Municipal with the hosts looking to save themselves from suffering the same fate. Toulouse currently sit second-from-bottom, three points away from safety, but will nevertheless be considered favourites for this match. Given their current plight, this match looks set to be a must-win for the home side if they are to stand any chance of overhauling both Reims and Gazelec Ajaccio.

Troyes, meanwhile, will be looking to go down with dignity and claim what would be just their fourth win of the league campaign. They are already confirmed to finish bottom of the pile and were beaten 4-2 by Bordeaux last time out.

Earlier this season, Toulouse beat Troyes 3-0 at the Stade de l’Aube.

Marseille vs Reims (20:00 GMT)

Marseille will be aiming for their first home win since September 2015 as they welcome struggling Reims to the Stade Velodrome. Marseille haven’t won on home turf in the league since Week 5, when they overcame Bastia 4-1. It’s safe to say this has been a season to forget for the hosts, who only confirmed their safety from relegation due to last weekend’s 1-0 win away at Angers.

Reims, however, are right in the midst of the relegation dogfight. The visitors currently sit 18th in the table, one point and one place away from safety. Three consecutive losses, to Troyes, Nice and Montpellier respectively, certainly hasn’t helped their cause, and now time is quickly running out for Reims to save themselves.

Earlier this season, Reims managed to beat Marseille 1-0 at the Stade Auguste Delaune.

Gazelec Ajaccio vs PSG (20:00 GMT)

Relegation-threatened Gazelec Ajaccio face the unenviable task of facing PSG at the Stade Ange Casanova this Saturday. The hosts currently sit 17th in the table, one place and one point above the drop zone, and are in a three way fight with Reims and Toulouse in which only one can stay up.

PSG, meanwhile, will set a new Ligue 1 points record if they avoid defeat in this fixture. The champions equalled their own record of 89 due to last weekend’s win over Rennes and just one point from their final three games will see the team make history.

Earlier this season, PSG beat Gazelec Ajaccio 2-0 at the Parc des Princes with goals from Blaise Matuidi and Thiago Silva.

Bordeaux vs Lorient (20:00 GMT)

Bordeaux will be aiming to boost their hopes of a top ten finish as they welcome Lorient to the Matmut Atlantique this weekend. The hosts currently sit 12th in the table, albeit with a game in hand to be played in the middle of next week. A 4-2 victory over Troyes last weekend leaves them two points outside the top half.

Lorient, meanwhile, have nothing but pride left to play for this season. The visitors are now mathematically safe from relegation but have lost both of their last two league outings, against St Etienne and Lille respectively.

Earlier this season, Lorient beat Bordeaux 3-2 at the Stade du Moustoir.

Nantes vs Caen (20:00 GMT)

Nantes and Caen face off in a mid-table clash at the Stade de la Beaujoire. The two teams are level on points in ninth and 10th place respectively and will now simply be aiming to end the campaign still in the top half. The hosts ended a five match winless run with a 1-0 victory over Champions League chasing Nice last time out.

Caen, meanwhile, are also suffering from a five game winless streak, as losses to Toulouse, Lorient and PSG have been followed up by stalemates against Guingamp and, most recently, Bastia. Patrice Garande will be hoping his side follow the example set by Nantes and end their barren run on the sixth attempt.

Earlier this season, Nantes beat Caen 2-0 at the Stade Michel d’Ornano.

Bastia vs Angers (20:00 GMT)

Bastia and Angers meet at the Stade Armand Cesari in what is essentially a dead rubber match. The hosts sit 14th in the table on 44 points, enough to confirm their place in the top tier next season. They certainly aren’t in the best of form though, having won just one of their last nine league outings.

Angers, meanwhile, are currently eighth in the standings, but don’t stand any real chance of reaching the top six, and a potential European qualification spot, with just two games of the season left. They head into this match on the back of a somewhat surprising defeat at home to Marseille last weekend.

Earlier this season, Angers beat Bastia 1-0 at the Stade Jean-Bouin.



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