With 8 points ahead of their Marseille runner-up, Paris Saint-Germain are heading straight for an 11th French championship title.
But behind, the fight is raging for the Ligue 1 podium. OM (64 pts) are closely followed by Lens (63) and Monaco (61) seven days from the end.
Three teams for two places, with qualification for the Champions League at the end.
Who has the advantage?
Who has the worst schedule?
State of play.
Calendar and results Ligue 1
League 1 standings
The dynamics: OM and Monaco better than Lens
Since their rout at home against Paris (0-3) followed by the elimination by Annecy in the Coupe de France (2-2, 6-7 on penalties), Marseille are undefeated in 6 matches.
The players of Igor Tudor remain on a convincing success against Troyes (3-1), the kind of (too) rare performances at home this season.
It gives us confidence going into the last seven games
," Tudor savored Sunday night.
Smiles, there are also in Monaco, victorious the same day from Lorient (3-1).
ASM never wavered against Les Merlus and pocketed a 3rd victory in 4 matches.
Everyone was in the right frame of mind,
congratulated coach Philippe Clement.
The team played compactly, aggressively, forward.
It's the kind of match we have to play more often.
SEE ALSO –
SEE ALSO –
The goals of Monaco-Lorient this Sunday April 16 (3-1)
Lens, on the other hand, definitively said goodbye to the title on Saturday, at the Parc des Princes, when a victory would have brought it back to 3 points behind PSG.
The early red card of Salis Abdul Samed (19th) precipitated his fall (3-1).
But his performance remained more than honorable.
The first feeling remains disappointment
" but "
the second feeling is to be proud
," said artesian coach Franck Haise.
The Sang et Or had won their last 4 matches before this trip to the capital.
The calendar: two direct confrontations for Lens
No time to celebrate in Marseille.
The Phocaeans have a perilous Olympico which awaits them in Lyon this Sunday (8:45 p.m.).
A superb and difficult match awaits us
,” predicted Tudor.
OL, 7th in L1, have three league wins and still dream of Europe.
Behind, there will be a direct confrontation in Lens (May 6), another big trip to Lille (May 21) but also matches a priori without stakes against Angers and Ajaccio, promised to relegation.
The Marseille schedule
The Marseille schedule
D33: vs Auxerre
D35: vs Angers
D37: vs Brest
Lens was 2nd in L1 before this weekend, and it will be 4th in a week if it loses this Saturday (9 p.m.) against Monaco.
It will be a six-point match
,” warned Monaco coach Philippe Clement.
Racing will take a breather in Toulouse before another major reception, that of OM.
The other matches should take on a relative challenge for the opponents, unless Auxerre plays its maintenance on the last day.
The Lens calendar:
The Lens calendar:
D32: vs Monaco
D34: vs Marseille
D35: vs Reims
D37: vs Ajaccio
It is perhaps in Monaco that we find the toughest calendar in terms of consistency.
On his way will follow Lille (5th), Lyon (7th) and Rennes (6th).
ASM could arbitrate the race for Europe behind it, knowing that LOSC (six points behind Monaco) remains in ambush for the top 4. But, of course, there is first this trip to Lens.
It will be important but not decisive.
We have seven finals left
,” Clement said.
D33: vs Montpellier
D35: vs Lille
D38: vs Toulouse
The fit man: Loïs Openda, lantern of the Blood and Gold
Of course, OM want to believe in the awakening of Vitinha, author of a double against Troyes.
And Monaco is counting on its captain Wissam Ben Yedder, a decisive double passer against Lorient.
But, for the moment, the X factor of this race for the podium is called Loïs Openda.
The Lensois has scored 6 goals in his last 5 matches.
He didn't score but was heroic in Paris.
When you don't score, it's always annoying, but when you work well and make an effort for the collective, it comes back
", asked Franck Haise after the Openda hat-trick in Clermont on March 12 (0- 4).
The 23-year-old Belgian international, who is at 15 goals for his first season in Ligue 1, rewarded his coach's choice to have him reinstated as a starter for six matches.
The Monegasque and Marseille defenses are warned.
Who has the most to gain… or to lose?
We would be tempted to sum up by saying that Lens has everything to gain and Marseille everything to lose.
And that wouldn't be far from the truth.
Our goal has always been to finish on the podium
,” said Marseille president Pablo Longoria in our columns ten days ago.
All the more so after the failure in the Champions League this season (4th in his group) and the “
” elimination, according to Longoria, from the Coupe de France.
Marseille, current 2nd, has no room for error.
Monaco, 3rd in 2021 and 2022, fears leaving the podium.
An unthinkable regression.
A new 3rd place would not suit him either because, each time, ASM took the door in the Champions League play-offs, consoling themselves with the Europa League.
Finally, RC Lens, 10th budget in the championship, exceeds expectations.
This was already the case in the last two seasons, finished in 7th place.
His return to the top flight since 2021 has been a resounding success.
Franck Haise assumed it after a victory against Angers in March (3-0), he wants to "
bring the club to the European Cup
We don't hide it.
We have always been ambitious
,” added the Lensois coach.
With ten points ahead of Rennes, 6th, the mission is almost accomplished.