Who will finish dolphin of the PSG? Who will play the Champions League and the Europa League next season, and who will go directly to Ligue 2? While the suspense remains intact almost on all floors, France 24 looks at the main issues of the last day of Ligue 1, Saturday.
The epilogue of Ligue 1 promises to be crazy! Whether for European places – Champions League, Europa League, Europa League conference – or for the descent into Ligue 2 – directly or in the play-off – the French championship will deliver its verdict on Saturday May 21, at the end of the last day.
At the top of the table, behind the already crowned PSG, all the places on the podium, synonymous with qualification for the Champions League, are still at stake, will be disputed by AS Monaco (2e68 points, +25), Olympique de Marseille (3e68 points, +21), and Stade Rennais (4e65 points, +42).
Monaco on pole for the 2e place, Rennes in ambush
AS Monaco is master of its destiny, and therefore in favorable waivers for the 2e square. The men of Philippe Clément remain on an impressive series of nine victories in a row, started on March 20 with a convincing success against PSG (3-0), at the Louis-II stadium. A hellish pace that allowed the club to steal the 2e place at OM, the previous day, thanks to a better goal difference.
However, the task will not be easy for the Monegasques, since they will play their last match on the lawn of RC Lens (7e), which for its part can hope for European qualification, thanks to the 5e place, synonymous with access to the Europa League Conference. But for that, the Sang et Or will have to win in front of their boiling public and hope for poor performances from Nice (6e) and Strasbourg (5e).
For their part, OM must recover from their disappointment at having lost their second place, after conceding two defeats in three matches in the final sprint – against Lyon (0-3) and Rennes (2-0) –, to hope to stay on the podium or go back in front of Monaco in the event of a misstep in Lens.
The Phocaeans, not always comfortable at home under the Sampaoli era, welcome RC Strasbourg (5e, 63 points), who also wants to crown his good season with a European qualification. Defeat is therefore prohibited for OM, under penalty of being ejected from the qualifying places for the C1, which are nevertheless crucial for the finances of the club and for the recruitment policy of its president Pablo Longoria.
Because Stade Rennais is in ambush, at the 4e qualifying place for the group stage of the Europa League, three points behind the Olympians and the Monegasques, but with a much better goal difference. If the Bretons, led by Bruno Génésio, elected best coach in Ligue 1 last weekend, win in Lille and one of their direct competitors loses, they will finish on the podium.
OGC Nice is spoiling its end of the season (6e63 points), while he was close to the podium for a long time, still 2e at the 27e daytime. After their failure in the Coupe de France final against FC Nantes, which qualified directly for the group stage of the Europa League thanks to this trophy, the people of Nice suffered the blow and fell from the 4e at the 6e place, during the 37e daytime. They go to Reims (12e) Saturday evening, where they will have the obligation to win, to hope to pass in front of the Strasbourgeois (C4), or even, in the event of a miracle scenario, in front of the Rennais (C3). The Azureans will perhaps long regret the incidents of Nice-OM, disputed on August 22, for which the club had been sanctioned with a firm penalty point. A point that could deprive them of Europe.
Mission impossible for Bordeaux, one last chance for the Greens
In the bottom of the ranking, the fight for the 18e place, that of the roadblocker, is played by three. Or even two, between FC Metz (18e) and Saint-Étienne (19e), both the situation of the Girondins de Bordeaux (20e) is hopeless.
Indeed, even if mathematically it is not yet official, the Bordelais seem condemned to play in Ligue 2 next season, since they are three points behind the Stéphanois and the Messins, but also and above all a very bad difference goals (-41) compared to their direct opponents (-35 for Sainté and -29 for Metz). In summary, on Saturday evening, the Marine et Blanc will have to win in Brest with a pharaonic score and hope for heavy defeats from the other two. Suffice to say that the mission is impossible for the club which will therefore be relegated for the first time in thirty-one years.
🙏 Only one of these 3 clubs will have the opportunity to save their place in the elite 🙌!
— Ligue 1 Uber Eats (@Ligue1UberEats) May 19, 2022
For Metz and Saint-Étienne, who both have 31 points, the mass is not yet said. Property of the Grenats at the start of the last day thanks to a better goal difference, this 18e place can completely escape them since they go to the Parc des Princes, to play their survival in Ligue 1 against PSG.
A difficult trip knowing that the Parisians, who have not lost any home game in Ligue 1 this season, will necessarily want to score for their last outing before the presentation, at the end of the match, of the trophy of champions of France.
For their part, the Greens will go to Nantes and will be able to recover their play-off place which they abandoned during the 37e day, at the worst time, on condition of obtaining a better result than FC Metz. If they remain on four losses in a row and they are relegated, the Stéphanois owe their public a start. The last time the club, ten times champion of France, had been relegated was in 2001. It had found the elite only at the end of the 2003-2004 season.