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decisive weekend in sight for the fight to maintain

Last chance for Bordeaux and Metz, cleaver match for Saint-Etienne, find the hot spots of the fight to maintain this Saturday.

Like every year, the multiplexes of the 37and and 38and days will occupy the Saturdays of Ligue 1 amateurs. Popularized by Canal+ and its mythical goal alert, the event changes channel according to the calls for tenders. The stakes remain intact. On all floors, as is the traditionally consecrated formula. And if the race for Europe is raging ahead, with in particular a boiling Rennes-Marseille decisive in the race for the podium, the bottom of the table will also be at the heart of the attention this Saturday, from 9 p.m.

Last chance for Bordeaux… against a direct competitor

The only direct confrontation between two teams still under the influence of relegation, the meeting between Girondins and Merlus sounds like the last hope of the first cities. Last in Ligue 1 (27 points), the Bordelais are no longer masters of their destiny (see below) but can maintain a (tiny) flame in the event of victory against the worst team in the elite outside their bases ( 2 wins, 5 draws, 11 losses). Conversely, a defeat would definitively condemn Bordeaux, fueling a little more the distrust of supporters who could come in large numbers after having benefited from affordable prices (seats from 9 euros).

Appointed in February to ensure the perilous mission of maintaining the Girondins, David Guion failed to raise the bar. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP

In their last game at home, the Girondins suffered a short but logical defeat against Nice, who benefited from a defensive error revealing the Bordeaux season (0-1). “In our situation, nothing succeeds us, we must attract this success“, then regretted coach David Guion, appointed in mid-February to succeed in the maintenance mission. A challenge a little more complicated by the slap received in Angers on Sunday (4-1), which noted that the salvation of the centenary club would go through roadblocks at best. Three points ahead of Saint-Etienne, play-off (31 points), FC Lorient will also have an attentive ear on the course of the evening at Geoffroy-Guichard. Beaten by Marseille on Sunday (0-3), as in four of their last five matches, the Hakes missed the opportunity to spare themselves a stressful end to the season.

Metz gave itself a reprieve

Winner against all odds of Lyon on Sunday (3-2), FC Metz granted themselves a last hope, almost unexpected in view of a very complicated season. So much so that the Lorraine locker room now believes in the feat. “There may be a small chance but I don’t want to talk about it, assured coach Frédéric Antonetti after the snatch victory against OL. Before, I said ”I believe in it”, and I had a lot of reasons to believe it, but it didn’t work. There we are liberated.»

A positive state of mind to approach the last chance match against Angers. The SCO, which was slow to secure an eighth straight season in the top flight, ended up validating its maintenance following its victory against Bordeaux last weekend, combined with the defeat of Saint-Etienne in Nice on Wednesday ( 4-2). Irrelevant during the return phase (3 wins, 7 defeats in a row between the end of January and mid-March), the Angevin team has everything the ideal opponent to maintain the dream of maintaining Lorraine.

Saint-Etienne-Reims, the weight of behind closed doors

Overthrown by Nice in one half, AS Saint-Etienne remains on the razor’s edge. In view of the situation in which the club was at the truce (12 points), finding themselves as a roadblocker with 3 points ahead of 19and (Metz) was almost unexpected. But the situation remains urgent at the time of hosting the Stade de Reims. Admittedly relieved of all accounting issues, the Reims group has already played spoilsport by going to win in Lorient two weeks ago (1-2).

Above all, Pascal Dupraz and his flock will not be able to count on the precious support of their public on Saturday. In response to the smoke bombs deployed during the reception of Monaco (1-4) on April 23, during the 30and anniversary of the Green Angels (group of supporters), the CNOSF has confirmed that this Saturday’s match will be held behind closed doors. “The camera is penalizing for the club and the supportersagreed Dupraz even before the confirmation of the sanction. The atmosphere at Geoffroy-Guichard is incredible, it’s an undeniable asset.” Without their supporters, the Greens will still be able to secure, in the event of victory, at least the place of play-off, thus condemning Bordeaux and Metz, if the Lorraine club does not win.

Troyes is on the way to securing its first Ligue 1 retention since 2006. Federico Pestellini / PANORAMIC

Clermont-Troyes, the promoted saved on Saturday?

In favorable tie in comparison with the teams mentioned above, Clermont (16and36 pts) and Troyes (15and, 37 pts) are on their way to securing a second season in the top flight. A first since 2006 for Estac, the Aube club subscribed to the “elevator” between L1 and L2. But the Trojans will have to overcome Lensois (7and, 58 pts) still in the running for European qualification. The Northerners will have an ear on the side of the performance of Strasbourg (6and60 pts), which moves to… Clermont (16and, 36 pts). Two receptions with a double stake therefore. For Estac, the equation is simple: one point will suffice to stretch its lease in L1. For Clermont, one point will be enough provided that Saint-Etienne does not beat Reims. Otherwise, it will be necessary to monitor the goal difference, to the advantage of the Clermontois (-29 against -34), during the last day.


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