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Ligue 1 MD 38 round-up

Ligue 1 round-up: What fans can expect on the final matchday

May 16, 2018 By Michelle Bonsu
The 2017/2018 Ligue 1 season comes to an end this weekend! casts an eye over the past campaign and what's in store for the final matchday this Saturday, May 19th.

After 37 rounds, the 2017/2018 Ligue 1 season is nearly coming to an end. PSG have been finally crowned Ligue 1 champions, dislodging Monaco along the way, but Les Parisiens failed again to make inroads in the Champions League. On Saturday, May 19th, with the title already decided, the 20 teams making up French football's top flight will take to the pitch one last time. So, will they have anything at all to play for at this point?

Actually, they do. Let's have a look.

Here's how things look in Ligue 1 after 37 matchdays:

1 PSG 38 29 6 3 108 29 +79 93 DLDDW
2 Monaco 38 24 8 6 85 45 +40 80 WWWDL
3 Olympique Lyonnais 38 23 9 6 87 43 +44 78 WLWWW
4 Olympique Marseille 38 22 11 5 80 47 +33 77 WDWDW
5 Rennes 38 16 10 12 50 44 +6 58 DWWWD
6 Bordeaux 38 16 7 15 53 48 +5 55 WWWWL
7 Saint-Étienne 38 15 10 13 47 50 -3 55 WLLWW
8 Nice 38 15 9 14 53 52 +1 54 LWLDW
9 Nantes 38 14 10 14 36 41 -5 52 WWLLD
10 Montpellier 38 11 18 9 36 33 +3 51 DDWLL
11 Dijon 38 13 9 16 55 73 -18 48 WLWLL
12 Guingamp 38 12 11 15 48 59 -11 47 LDLDW
13 Amiens SC 38 12 9 17 37 42 -5 45 LWDDW
14 Angers SCO 38 9 14 15 42 52 -10 41 LLWDL
15 Strasbourg 38 9 11 18 44 67 -23 38 LWLDL
16 Caen 38 10 8 20 27 52 -25 38 DLLLD
17 Lille 38 10 8 20 41 67 -26 38 LWWWL
18 Toulouse 38 9 10 19 38 54 -16 37 WLLLD
19 Troyes 38 9 6 23 32 59 -27 33 LDLWL
20 Metz 38 6 8 24 34 76 -42 26 LLLLD
Champions League (Group Stage)
Europa League (Group Stage)
Europa League (Qualification)
Relagation Play-off
Relegation - Ligue 2


The race for the Champions League (and the Europa League, too)

PSG, as league winners, have already sealed a Champions League spot for next term. There are possibly six other sides in contention for both the Champions and the Europa League as well. Monaco look set to secure the runners-up spot, but that's not even guaranteed as if they slip-up against Troyes, who are desperate to fight for their survival, Lyon could pip them to second place and a group stage berth.

That would push Les Rouges-et-Blancs to third place. And Marseille are very much in the mix as well. For starters, they're in the finals of the 2018 Europa League final and sit in a top four spot. Winning the Europa League gives them an automatic berth into the Champions League, regardless of where they finish in the Ligue 1 table.

Even if they end up as runners-up, if they can win their final match against Amiens, they certainly will put themselves in contention for at least third if things go their way, which gives them a shot at a Champions League spot by the play-offs.

Then there's Rennes and Nice also jostling for a position, both of whom are guaranteed a spot somewhere in the Europa League as well. And depending on things, it's possible even Bordeaux could force themselves into the mix if anyone stumbles on the final matchday!

Battle to avoid the drop

On the opposite end of the spectrum, things are equally as interesting in French football's top flight, too.

Metz have been already relegated, and at this point will be preparing themselves for life in Ligue 2 next term. Strasbourg, who notably shocked PSG earlier this season by becoming the first team to beat them in Ligue 1, also have survived to live another term in the top flight but only just narrowly as they won't be relegated, regardless of whatever happens in their final game against Nantes.

That's because they have picked up 38 points, which puts them one ahead of Caen and Toulouse, the two teams who are in serious danger of the drop.

Like the Bundesliga, the team who finishes just outside the top two gets a life-line. In the case of Ligue 1, it's the team who finishes in 18th spot. Currently, that place is occupied by Toulouse, who has earned a measly 34 points this term.

Troyes could also shake things up if they win their game against Monaco. Should they manage that, they would move to 36 points. If Toulouse lose to Guingamp, then Troyes would occupy 18th and get a chance at the play-offs, while Toulouse will thus be relegated. A draw won't help Toulouse, either.

Suffice it to say, Troyes have to win their fixture, otherwise, they're going down.

However, if Toulouse beats Guingamp, they will jump to 37 points. Caen, meanwhile are pretty much safe - unless if Toulouse crush Guingamp and they badly lose to PSG. In their head to head meetings, Caen drew 0-0 and lost 2-0 to Toulouse.

As things are, the goal differential is 8 (assuming Toulouse beats Guingamp and Caen lose to PSG). If that happens, then regardless of whatever Troyes does, they're going back down to Ligue 2, Toulouse are off to the play-offs, and Caen remain safe in 17th spot.

Plenty of intrigue on the final matchday, indeed!

Other interesting tidbits

Neymar has reportedly returned to some form of training, but if fans are expecting him to make a cameo, don't get one's hopes up. The Brazilian also continues to be linked with a move away from the Parc des Princes this summer. That's despite the fact that Unai Emery, who Neymar had a difficult relationship with, is leaving the club in lieu of Thomas Tuchel, so who knows what will transpire at the start of next season.

Will Neymar still be a PSG player come next season? As the French say, On verra...


Edinson Cavani, who's set to definitely clinch the top scorer prize at the end of this season, is now Les Parisiens all-time top goalscorer, and obviously will want to sign off on this season by grabbing a goal or two against Caen. Furthermore, as PSG lost their last game, Cavani and his colleagues obviously wouldn't want to end their season on a sour note with another defeat.

Mario Balotelli finally may be given a lifeline after putting in the legwork with Nice for the past few campaigns. With Roberto Mancini now at the helm of the Azzurri, will "Super Mario" finally get a recall to the squad after being snubbed repeatedly over the past few years? After all, Italy aren't even featuring at the World Cup and are desperate to rebuild for the upcoming EURO 2020 tournament...and are in dire need of adequate strikers up front...

Balotelli will be hoping to finally be recalled from the international wilderness after the Ligue 1 campaign ends

Key matches not to miss:

All games kick off at 15:00 EST/21:00 CET

Match details, result and original broadcast info

Caen 0 - 0 PSG

May 19, 2018 3:00pmStade Michel d'Ornano (Caen)

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Olympique Lyonnais 3 - 2 Nice

May 19, 2018 3:00pmGroupama Stadium (Décines-Charpieu)

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Troyes 0 - 3 Monaco

May 19, 2018 3:00pmStade de l'Aube (Troyes)

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Toulouse 2 - 1 Guingamp

May 19, 2018 3:00pmStadium Municipal (Toulouse)

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[W51] vs [W52]
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[W57] vs [W58]
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Third place match
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[L61] vs [L62]
Jul 15 11:00amMoscow
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