five questions on a 37th day which promises to be hot

Race to Europe, fight for maintenance, playing time for young people, the penultimate day of the championship is full of challenges.

Put under pressure by AS Monaco, will Olympique de Marseille retain their place as runners-up?

This is one of the major issues of the multiplex this Saturday evening. Second in Ligue 1 with a three-point lead – and exactly the same goal difference – over AS Monaco, Olympique de Marseille is under pressure. For two reasons. The first is that the Phocaeans face Stade Rennais, one of the best teams in the championship; a Stade Rennais no doubt revengeful after their defeat at the Stade de La Beaujoire on Wednesday evening (2-1), and which must absolutely win to still believe in a qualification for the next edition of the Champions League, or worse, to avoid not to be European next season. The second is that Jorge Sampaoli’s men are directly under pressure from the Rocher club, the formation of the moment which remains on eight successes in a row and which faces Stade Brestois, an opponent well within its reach, during the 37e Ligue 1 day. Suffice to say that the Marseillais – deprived of Dimitri Payet and possibly other important elements – will not have the right to make mistakes on Saturday evening if they want to keep their destiny in their hands.

SEE ALSO – When Kevin Strootman offered victory to OM against Stade Rennais (0-1)

Can OGC Nice and Stade Rennais still believe in the podium?

Statistically, OGC Nice (4e63 points) and Stade Rennais (5e62 points) can still finish in second place in the standings held by Olympique de Marseille (2e, 68 points). But it would take an incredible combination of circumstances for the Aiglons or the Rouge et Noir to succeed. On the other hand, they can legitimately still believe in the podium since AS Monaco only have a lead of two and three points respectively. The first step, of course, is to win this Saturday. Christophe Galtier’s men, defeated last Saturday in the Coupe de France final, must confirm their victory against AS Saint-Etienne (4-2) in midweek by taking the three points against LOSC. Bruno Génésio’s players, for their part, must react after their loss against the Nantes rival last Wednesday (2-1). For them, the task looks a little more difficult since they face Olympique de Marseille. Winning will not be enough, however, for both OGC Nice and Stade Rennais. To hope to get back on the podium, the two teams must also count on a false step by the Principality club which is opposed Saturday evening to Stade Bretois… which is no longer playing anything at the end of the championship. Difficult, but not impossible.

Will RC Strasbourg Alsace find European places?

A few weeks ago, RC Strasbourg Alsace, surprise team of the season, was European. From now on, the players of Julien Stéphan (6e, 60 points) are no longer so but remain in ambush since they are only two units behind fifth place, currently occupied by Stade Rennais, and three behind fourth place, held by OGC Nice. And they just might take advantage of this 37e Ligue 1 day to recover points on their direct opponents, or even get ahead of them. Because if OGC Nice reacted well against the Greens (4-2) after their disappointment in the final of the Coupe de France, they showed signs of fragility in the first period, conceding two goals. But also because Stade Rennais hosts Olympique de Marseille, three days after losing to FC Nantes (2-1). To hope to find the European places, the Alsatians will not have to be content to wait for a poor performance from their competitors. They will also have to win at home against Clermont Foot; an inferior opponent, on paper.

Will the Girondins de Bordeaux be officially relegated this Saturday evening?

It’s almost done. Good last in Ligue 1 with four points behind the barrage, the Girondins de Bordeaux have a good chance, barring a major turnaround, of being relegated to Ligue 2 at the end of the season. Their descent could also become effective this Saturday evening, at the end of the 37e championship day. Concretely, if the Marine et Blanc do not win against FC Lorient – ​​which is also playing its survival among the French elite – they will say goodbye to their hopes of remaining. But one success is not enough for the Bordeaux club, which must also hope that AS Saint-Etienne (18e) did not get the three points against Stade de Reims. In fact, everything is still possible. But David Guion’s men have not won for over a month and a home victory against FC Metz (3-1). They also remain on a heavy defeat against Angers SCO (4-1) and seem to have let go, as if they had resolved to accept their destiny. Their future will be one of the important issues of this multiplex.

Will Paris Saint-Germain play its youngsters?

Many had hoped to see the youngsters of Paris Saint-Germain have considerable playing time, whether as starters or substitutes, last weekend against ESTAC (2-2). It must be said that the Rouge et Bleu, already officially champions of France, are no longer playing anything at the end of the championship and that usually, in such situations, the coaches like to reward future players by giving them a lot of minutes. . But in the end, only Ismaël Gharbi had playing time; and again, he entered at the very end of regulation time. El Chadaille Bitshiabu remained on the substitute bench while Edouard Michut and Xavi Simons, present in the group, had to take their places in the stands of the Parc des Princes to leave on the score sheet much more experienced players.

Mauricio Pochettino, the Parisian coach, justified himself after his choice not to trust the young people against Troyes: “I didn’t say they were going to play, I said they might have minutes. We have built a squad with more than thirty experienced players. A workforce not changed in January. The place for young people is not large. They have to deserve those game moments, he explained. They have been training with us since day one. It’s a first step. We will have to see the composition of the squad in the future to know if they can save playing time.This Saturday evening, against Montpellier, it is certain that his management of young people will be scrutinized again. Will he give them more playing time?



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