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Ligue 1 preview: Montpellier on brink of maiden title

12 May 2012 05:30

Montpellier can make history and win their first Ligue 1 title on Sunday when they host 2011 champions Lille.

Rene Girard's men sit three points clear of the second-placed Paris Saint-Germain with just two matches left while Lille are just five behind in third.

If PSG do not beat Stade Rennes, Montpellier can clinch the title with a victory and the club's president Louis Nicollin said they will not get a better chance to topple big-spending PSG than this year.

Nicollin is also anxious ahead of this weekend's fixture, in which they can at least seal second – a position that would give them automatic qualification into the UEFA Champions League next season – to guarantee some consolation if they fail to clinch the title.

"It had better be this year," Nicollin said.

"Because then it is going to be PSG all over the place for seven years, there's no way we'll avoid this.

"I'm so stressed out. We could be eighth, comfortable, having secured our place in the top flight. It's stressful because we need to avoid third place and that annoying Champions League playoff. So second would be great. But first (would be better)."

Montpellier last won a domestic trophy in 1990 when they beat Racing Club de France 2-1 in the Coupe de France final.

They will head into Sunday's fixture at Stade de la Mosson on the back of a 2-0 win at fifth-placed Rennes and in front of their home fans, Girard's side are unbeaten in 14, a run of form that includes 12 victories.

Lille will be no easy beats though and with eight wins in their last nine, confidence among Rudi Garcia's side is high.

PSG can ensure the title race goes down to the final day though, if they defeat Rennes at Parc des Princes.

Carlo Ancelotti's side have had no problem scoring recently, netting 13 goals in their last four matches.

And with Rennes having kept just one clean sheet in their last 12, more goals are expected in the French capital.

Lyon travel to Ajaccio as their bid for a fourth-placed finish continues, while the in-form Bordeaux welcome Lorient.

In the exciting battle for survival, just four points separate the sides placed from 14th to 20th.

That means bottom-placed Auxerre can still survive, although they will be up against it at Marseille.

Dijon and Brest – 19th and 18th respectively – have home matches against Toulouse and Valenciennes in their bid to avoid the drop while Sochaux, who sit 17th, travel to Caen.

In other matches, Nancy battle Saint-Etienne and Nice take on Evian TG.

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Info

1 - 0

Lille

W L D W D
Competition
Ligue 1
Date
13 May 2012
Game week
37
Kick-off
21:00
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
1 - 0
Venue
Stade de la Mosson (Montpellier)
Attendance
27649

Goals

K. Aït-Fana 90'+3
(assist by O. Giroud) 
1 - 0

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
18 90+3'
1
11
12
14
21
27
# Player Bookings
23
26
19
5
16
21
28

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