Ligue One Matchday 34 Preview: Extremely tight at the top in France

Ligue 1
Nancy-Marseille

The first match of the 34th fixture will be between Nancy and Marseille at the Stade Marcel Picot. The home side, desperate for some points, are just one point away from the relegation zone. The away side, undefeated in the last five games, come into the match with much confidence due to last week’s staggering 4-0 victory over direct rivals Saint-Etienne. Nancy come into the game with a 1-0-4 record in their previous five, with their only victory coming two weeks ago against Rennes in a 3-0 win. A positive to the game is that six out of eight wins for Nancy come at home (75%). Florian Thauvin comes into the game with a stellar performance in his previous outing, playing somewhat of an Eden Hazard role for his side. He received between lines and took on rivals all around the pitch, while contributing directly to the score with two goals and an assist for Bafetimbi Gomis. Nancy are 17th, with five matches to go in Ligue 1, accounting for 31 points. Montpellier are 6th with 52 points, three points away from 4th place and Europa League qualification.

Paris Saint Germain-Montpellier

The first match on Saturday will be played between French giants PSG and mid-table Montpellier. All PSG can do is keep winning and hope Monaco drop points in their remaining games. The home side managed a93rd-minutee winner on Tuesday to keep the title race alive. Montpellier, on the other hand, come from beating in-form relegation side Lorient, securing a 2-0 victory In an unlikely form of events, Monaco will hope Montpellier battle the Parisian side for a point or three, however, that seems extremely unlikely since PSG are massive favorites coming into the match.

The home side are currently tied with Monaco at the top with 77 points, however they have played a game more. Monaco play 4th place Lyon away, a game that could help define the Ligue 1 title. Montpellier are 12th with 39 points.

Caen-Nantes

The next game sees Caen host Nantes at the Stade Michel d’Ornano. Caen are currently undergoing a slump as they are winless in their last five. They tied with Metz away in their last fixture in an entertaining 2-2 draw. Nantes have a 2-2-1 record in their last five, which places them 10th in the table with 42 points. The home side, in a more extreme situation, are monitoring the relegation side from 16th place, having accumulated just 33 points.

Dijon-Angers

The next game of the weekend sees relegation side Dijon host Angers at the Municipal Gaston Gerard. Angers, a difficult team to beat, have had some quality yet unrewarding performances against league leaders Monaco and PSG. Dijon have not won a game in their previous five, having lost their last two. Angers are 13th in the table with 39 points. They come from losing to Monaco and PSG at home, and possess a 2-0-3 record in their last five games. The home side are 19th in Ligue 1 with 29 points.

Lille-Guingamp

Another important match on Saturday will have Lille battle Guigamp at home. The Stade Pierre-Mauroy will host the game, where both teams fight to maintain their rhythm in the last few games of the league, however, neither team have other aspirations. Lille are entering a negative period, as they have lost their last three having won two straight games before that. Guingamp hold a positive 3-0-2 record in their last five, with their last game being a 2-1 home victory against Toulouse. They are 8th with 44, while Lille are 14th with 37 points.

Bordeaux-SC Bastia

The next game of the weekend has home side Bordeaux play relegation side Bastia, in a game where neither can afford to lose points if they want to keep fighting for their objectives. Bordeaux have won their last two, holding a 3-0-2 record in their last five. They are 5th with 52 points, just two behind Lyon. Bastia had their game cancelled during the weekend due to their fans physically attacking the Olympique Lyon players, a very shameful act that will probably have their fan base suspended from attending their club’s matches. Bastia are in last place with just 28 points, and they hold a 1-1-3 record in their last five.

Lorient-Metz

The last match to be battled out on Saturday will be Lorient hosting Metz, in a fight for the lower half of the league. With both teams looking to add as many points as they can for salvation, Metz are most likely to stay in Ligue 1, while Lorient are on the edge of staying and leaving the French top flight. The home side have improved a lot since 2016, and now look to win at home to secure more points for their salvation quest. They have a 3-0-2 record in their last five, including their three-match winning streak. They are 18th with 31 points, tied with Nancy who are 17th. Metz have a winless record in their previous five games with a 0-2-3 record. They are 15th with 36 points.

Toulouse-Nice

The first game on Sunday has title-race Nice visit the Municipal Stadium to face Toulouse. Although Nice’s brilliant season will most likely not be rewarded with a title or automatic qualification for the Champions League, they hope to keep adding wins to their season to keep pressure on those up top. The home side are 11th in the league with 41 points. Nice, on the other hand, are 3rd with 73 points, four behind both leaders. The home side have a 1-2-2 record in their last five games played, while Nice have an undefeated 3-2-0 record.

Saint Etienne-Rennes

The next game out of the three on Sunday will be Saint Etienne hosting Rennes at the Stade Geoffroy Guichard. Both teams are direct rivals of each other, therefore the game might be one of the most entertaining of the weekend in France, of course with that promising Lyon-Monaco following this match. Saint Etienne are 7th with 45 points, while Rennes are 9th with 33 points. Saint Etienne hold a 1-3-1 record in their last five, and Rennes have the same 1-3-1 record.

Lyon-Monaco

Monaco’s brilliant season has just been prized with reaching the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League, whereas Lyon have just qualified for the Europa League semifinal, after defeating Besiktas on penalties. Monaco beat Borussia Dortmund at home to be the only French team up there with the top 4 of the continent. Lyon come into the game with a match less, since they were attacked by Bastia supporters over the weekend, with the game being cancelled after a few minutes played. Monaco come into the game with a perfect 5-0-0 record in their last five, and are just five matches away from winning the Ligue 1 title. Lyon are 4th with 54 points, while Monaco top the table with 77 points.