European places, descent into Ligue 2… the challenges of the 38ᵉ day of Ligue 1

Who to accompany Paris-Saint-Germain in the Champions League? To qualify for the Europa League? Who will play in Ligue 2 next season? The 38and and last day of Ligue 1 must raise the last questions of the 2021-2022 season of the French football championship.

  • The battle for the Champions League
Jorge Sampaoli is playing his future at the head of OM, Saturday against Strasbourg, at the Stade-Vélodrome.

After their defeat on the lawn of Rennes on May 14 (0-2), Olympique de Marseille lost their 2ᵉ place in Ligue 1 in favor of AS Monaco (2ᵉ with 68 points). The Monegasques, who will have to manage a difficult trip to the lawn of RC Lens, are for the moment the best placed – thanks to a better goal difference – to qualify directly for the group stage of the next Champions League.

OM (3ᵉ), level on points with Monaco, have three points more than Rennes. The Marseillais will have to draw at least against Strasbourg to ensure their ticket for the next C1. Rennes (4ᵉ, 65 points) can still believe in the Champions League but will have to win in Lille. The Rennais can also lose everything and slip to the 6and place, not qualifying for a European Cup.

  • The fight for the Europa League and the Europa League Conference
The Niçois can still hope to finish in fourth place in the championship, synonymous with direct qualification in the Europa League.

Strasbourg (5ᵉ, 63 points), which plays in Marseille, and OGC Nice (6ᵉ, 63 points), which travels to Reims, prowl around the Bretons for European runners-up. The 4ᵉ place grants a ticket for the group phase of the next Europa League while the 5ᵉ place allows its holder to qualify for the playoffs for access to the group phase of the Europa League Conference.

Slightly behind, RC Lens (7ᵉ, 61 points) can still hope to go back to 5ᵉ place, thanks to favorable scenarios for the Blood and Gold. It is not impossible but the window is very narrow.

Read also: Ligue 1: Strasbourg, the surprise guest at the party for Europe
  • Who will go down to Ligue 2?
Bordeaux defender Enock Kwateng, tackled by Lorient's Jérémy Morel, at the Matmut Stadium in Bordeaux, Saturday May 14.

The 18and place in Ligue 1 will lead to a play-off (go and return) against the winner of the Ligue 2 match between Auxerre and Sochaux in the accession play-off, while the 19and and 20and places will be synonymous with direct relegation to Ligue 2.

We already know the three teams – Bordeaux, Saint-Etienne and Metz – who will finish in 18ᵉ, 19ᵉ and 20ᵉ places, but not yet the order. If they can still grab 18ᵉ position, the Girondins de Bordeaux (20are28 points), who will go to Brest, will need a combination of very unlikely circumstances to maintain themselves (river victory associated with large defeats of their direct rivals for maintenance).

The 18ᵉ place will therefore most certainly be played between Metz (18ᵉ, 31 points) and Saint-Etienne (19ᵉ, 31 points). The Stéphanois are behind in the standings on goal difference (- 35 against – 29). They will go to Nantes, while the Messins will have to negotiate a complicated trip to the lawn of Paris-Saint-Germain, on which Kylian Mbappé could say goodbye to Ligue 1.

Read also: Ligue 1: in Saint-Etienne, the “savior” Pascal Dupraz plays his reputation

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