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Football

Monaco stare down relegation barrel

Monaco are level on points with 18th placed Caen. (PHOTO/AGENCY)

Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim will go from hero to zero unless he can stem a sequence of results that have left one of France’s best known clubs on the verge of relegation.

Jardim was feted for guiding the principality club to Ligue One title success in 2017 and the Champions League semifinals but has overseen a lackluster campaign in which they lie perilously close to the drop.

Jardim is having a second stab at the Monaco job this season, having earlier thrown in the towel in favour of club legend Thierry Henry.

He was recalled after France’s record scorer failed to turnaround the club’s results. But despite a brief upturn in fortunes courtesy of January recruits Cesc Fabregas and especially Gelson Martins, the former champions have floundered badly – failing to win any of their last six Ligue One matches.

Monaco go into French Ligue One’s penultimate game level on 33 points with Caen who occupy the third and final relegation slot. Anything less than victory at home to Amiens, who are one place above them could result in Jardim’s underwhelming side sinking into the bottom three.

The Portuguese gaffer’s only source of comfort is that relegation rivals Caen are away to Olympique Lyon, for whom victory will seal Champions League qualification and Dijon face champions Paris Saint Germain in the capital.

A number of players from Christophe Galtier’s surprise package Lille Metropole, will be looking to enhance their burgeoning reputations when they entertain Angers.

Nicolas Pepe, Rafael Leao and Jonathan Bamba will all be looking to impress watching scouts as Lille chase the solitary point that will confirm them as runners up to runaway champions Paris Saint Germain.

A particularly fascinating fixture to watch out for sees Saint Etienne host Patrick Vieira’s Nice aiming to bounce back from last week’s 0-1 setback at home Montpellier.

Victory for the hosts would ensure passage into next season’s Europa League. Anything less will open the door for Montpellier, who are at home to Nantes, to take the fight for Europe to the final day.

FIXTURES: All Games Take Place On SATURDAY At 10pm

-Paris Saint Germain v Dijon

-Olympique Lyon v Caen

-Girondin Bordeaux v Reims

-Guingamp v Reims

-Lille Metropole v Angers

-Monaco v Amiens

-Saint Etienne v Nice

-Toulouse v Olympique Marseille

-Montpellier v Nantes

-Strasbourg v Rennes

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