Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ligue 1 Preview: Monaco, Marseille, Saint-Etienne battle for Champions League spot

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 May 2015

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The third and final UEFA Champions League berth in Ligue 1 will be decided on the final day of the season, with Monaco aiming to hold off Marseille and Saint-Etienne.

Monaco (68 points) travel to Lorient in third position in the table knowing a win on Saturday will secure a spot in the qualifying rounds of next season’s Champions League.

But if Leonardo Jardim’s men fail to beat 16th-placed Lorient, they could be overhauled by Marseille or Saint-Etienne (both 66 points).

Whichever club that finishes fourth will qualify for the UEFA Europa League.

Monaco, who announced contract extensions until 2019 for defenders Fabinho and Almamy Toure on Wednesday, should be wary of Lorient after they lost 2-1 at home to the Breton club earlier this season.  

Fourth-placed Marseille have won three straight matches to stay in Champions League contention ahead of their clash with Bastia at the Stade Velodrome, while Saint-Etienne – who sit fifth – host Guingamp.

Coach Christophe Galtier will enter the match with his Saint-Etienne future still unclear, with the 48-year-old having claimed he has been offered a new deal.

“I told them that I was touched, I asked the club for a period of reflection, which will happen one week after the end of the league,” he said, according to L’Equipe.

“There is a good chance that I stay at AS Saint-Etienne.”

Another coach to have been offered a new deal is Rennes’ Philippe Montanier, who agreed to a three-year extension on Wednesday.

Montanier will look to celebrate his new contract, which will keep him with Rennes until June 2019, with a victory over second-placed Lyon.

Champions Paris Saint-Germain will celebrate their third straight Ligue 1 title in front of their home fans against Reims.

Relegated trio Lens, Metz and Evian will farewell the French top flight with games against Nantes, Lille and Caen respectively, while Bordeaux host Montpellier and Nice visit Guingamp to complete the 2014-15 campaign.

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SoccerNews

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