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Football

Battle for third intesifies in Ligue One

Lyon returned to winning ways last weekend with a win over Angers. (Agency photo)

With six points separating second and third in the French Ligue one, only one Champions League spot is realistically available with only five games to play for.

Lille who sit second on the table, are odds on to stay in their position but Lyon (3rd) have all to play for in the remaining games as the duo of Saint Etienne (4th) and Marseille (5th) are hot on their heels.

At the kick of the first ball on Match-Day 35, only five points separate Bruno Genesio’s side from Marseille who are 5th. Lyon know that it is in their hands now and winning the rest of their games will mean they head back to Europe’s premier Club competition for at least another year.

Lyon will be away to Bordeaux on Friday in an encounter that historically has caused issues for them (Lyon) as they have not won at the Matmut-Atlantique in any of their last three visits.

Genesio’s side defeated Angers 2-1 last weekend, their first points in the last three and will be hoping the form of Martin Terrier, who has scored in all of his last four games, can inspire them to another victory.

For Bordeaux, they have underperformed this season and start the day in 14th, 10 points off the relegation zone. The sale of Malcom to Barcelona last summer looks to have affected them big time and none of Francios Kamano and Jimmy Briand looks ready to take over from where the Brazilian left.

Only a single victory in their last 9 does not do Bordeaux’s confidence any good as they come up against a side that is desperate to return to the Champions League.

With no League action on Saturday, both Marseille and Saint Etienne will play their games on Sunday.

First up will be Jean Louis Gasset’s Etienne who will be at home to relegation-threatened Toulouse.

Etienne have been in impressive form lately, winning four of their last five games in Ligue One, including a 2-0 win away to Reims last time out.

With Remmy Cabella and top scorer Waibi Khaziri in good form, nothing but three points off Toulouse will be welcomed by the Etienne faithful.

Marseille too are at home on Sunday as they welcome in-form Nantes to the City.

After struggling between March and early April where they failed to win in three, Rudi Garcia’s charges are back in business, winning both of their last two games.

Star striker Mario Balloteli is a major doubt as he is nursing an injury but with Valarie Germain and Lucas Ocampos in the mix, Marseille will surely cause Nantes problems, some of which i am sure they (Nantes) will not be able to answer.

However, Nantes themselves have been in good form of late as they are riding on the back of three consecutive victories, one of which was a 3-2 defeat of PSG.

With PSG and Rennes contesting the French Cup final on Sunday, the other fixtures to look out for will be Lille at home to Nimes and a relegation six-pointer pitting Dijon away to Caen.

The French Ligue One fixtures:

Friday, 26-04-2019.

-Bordeaux vs Lyon @9:45Pm

Sunday, 28-04-2019.

-Amiens vs Strasbourg @4pm

-Angers vs Reims @4pm

-Caen vs Dijon @4pm

-Lille vs Nimes @4pm

-Nice vs Guingamp @4pm

-Saint Etienne vs Toulouse @6pm

-Marseille vs Nantes @10pm

Tuesday, 30-04-2019

-Montpellier vs PSG @10pm

Wednesday, 01-05-2019

-Rennes vs Monaco @10pm

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