What’s still to play for heading into the final Ligue 1 gameweek?

Whilst Paris Saint-Germain have already been crowned champions, and RC Lens and Olympique de Marseille have already secured Champions League qualification, there is still plenty to play for heading into the final gameweek of the Ligue 1 season. 

The most complicated back is at the top. The Europa League and the Europa Conference League spots are still up for grabs. Currently, fourth place, the equivalent of qualification for the Europa League, is occupied by Lille OSC. Fifth place, which is enough to earn Europa Conference League football for next season is occupied by Stade Rennais, whilst AS Monaco are in sixth, and only behind Rennes on goal difference. Should results go their way, Les Monégasques could still achieve Europa League football this season. 

What do Lille have to do for European football? 

Lille will finish fourth should they beat ESTAC Troyes on Saturday. Les Dogues would also secure fourth should they draw, and Rennes and Monaco fail to beat their respective opponents. They can even afford to lose and still finish fourth should Monaco and Rennes also lose. Lille would finish fifth if they drew and one of Monaco or Rennes win. Should Paulo Fonseca’s side lose, Rennes not lose, but Monaco lose against Toulouse, that would also earn Lille fifth place. 

What do Rennes have to do for European football?

Rennes will finish fourth if they beat Brest and Lille don’t beat Troyes. They would also secure Europa League football if they draw, Lille lose and Monaco fail to win. Bruno Génésio’s side will finish fifth if they win and Lille also win. Given their superior goal difference, Rennes will secure Europa Conference League football should they better or equal Monaco’s result against Toulouse. 

What do Monaco have to do for European football? 

To secure European football, Monaco must rely on other results going their way. To finish fourth, Les Monégasques have to beat Toulouse and hope that Rennes and Lille don’t win. They could also secure Europa League football with a draw, but Lille would have to lose heavily, and Monaco win by a heavy scoreline. To finish fifth, Monaco must better Rennes’ result. 

Will sixth place be good enough for Europe? 

There is the possibility of sixth place being good enough for Europe. Toulouse qualified for Europe by winning the Coupe de France, however, they may not be able to compete in the Europa League next season. As part of a multi-club model, which includes AC Milan, Toulouse may be prevented from competing, as UEFA rules currently state that two clubs with the same owner can’t compete in the same European competition. As the Europa League is the middle European competition, hypothetically, AC Milan could be drawn against them at some point in the tournament. Should this happen, sixth place could be good enough for the Europa Conference League. Should Monaco lose and Lyon beat Nice, Lyon would earn European football for next season. For Monaco, a draw would be enough to retain sixth, regardless of results elsewhere. 

How do Nantes get themselves to safety? 

There is also one relegation place to play for. Angers, Troyes and Ajaccio are already down, and Nantes currently occupy the final relegation spot. They are two points behind Auxerre. Nantes play bottom-placed Angers, whilst Auxerre face Lens. Nantes have to win to have any chance of survival. All eyes would then turn to Auxerre. A draw would leave the two sides level on points, but Nantes, with their superior goal difference, would stay up. A victory for Auxerre against second-placed Lens would seal Nantes’ relegation to Ligue 2. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle 

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