• Saturday, 2 May 2009

    Ligue 1 week 34

    Caen v Le Mans
    Lorient v Lille
    Valenciennes v Lyon
    Grenoble v Nice
    St Etienne v Nancy
    Monaco v Auxerre
    Marseille v Toulouse
    Nantes v Le Havre
    PSG v Rennes
    Bordeaux v Sochaux

    It's one of those weeks this time around where few of the front runners go up against one another. The big game at the top, therefore, is Toulouse's trip to the Vélodrome. Marseille can take something of a grip on proceedings with a win and Toulouse's away form is poor. Lyon will be favourites against Valenciennes, who are suddenly back at the wrong end, especially as it's away from the Gerland. The fans in Lyon do tend to get very impatient if Les Gones are not a goal up within quarter of an hour. Away from home, they seem freer. It's weird. It's like the fans in Lyon expect to win everything, but the turn of the century, they'd never won a title in their history. Eight years later, they expect more titles. How quickly people forget.

    Bordeaux get an extra day as they face their third game in eight days, at home to Sochaux. This is a game they should win and, should Marseille slip up, they could be top by the end of the round. PSG host Rennes at the Parc des Princes and they need to win to maintain any type of challenge. Lille are just about out of it and will certainly be if they don't beat Lorient.

    Down at the bottom, Le Havre will be relegated if they don't beat Nantes. Moreover, Nantes need all three points to ease their own relegation issues. Call me Mr Gambler, but I predict that the north coast side will be down by Sunday tea-time. Nancy have just about pulled clear enough to be safe, but their opponents St Etienne are fighting for their lives. Les Verts are desperate for points and it's hard to say what's gone wrong there considering the side is all but the same as the one that got them into Europe last season. Caen v Le Mans is also a big one. Should Caen win, Le Mans get dragged right down into it, but it's hard to see them break their long run without a win.

    In mid-table and with little riding on either game, Monaco take on Auxerre in what promises to be an entertaining game and Grenoble play Nice which doesn't.

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