Sunday, April 04, 2010


I am very interested in Ligue 1 today, the title race is going down to the wire and is the most open in recent history with six teams seperated by a Gauloises cigarette paper.

Two fixtures catch my eye in particular Marseille -Lens and Auxerre -PSG. These feature home sides desperate to stay in the title hunt, meeting opponents that recently knocked them out of the cup, with both visitors having little to play for in the league and semi-finals on the very near horizon.

Massive incentive for OM who will go above champions Bordeaux if they win by two or more goals and that would leave the title destiny in their own hands. They have not lost since a cup loss away to Lens in the cup some seven weeks ago and are scoring freely, 18 in their last 7 on home soil and in their last 14 games in total. Visitors have other objectives and once falling behind, the floodgates could open and we can certainly expect OM to push for a second goal at the very least. Niang and Cheyrou out for OM , but they were going to rotate anyway, with another home game on Wednesday, so one or both would probably have missed out in any case and it is just that the decision has been taken out of Didier Deschamps hand's.

Auxerre met a very focused PSG here in the cup just 12 days ago, with the Parisians going through on penalties. Now they arrive in a comfortable mid table position, with a semi final ahead and home game with the current champions next weekend, I do not think they will play with the same level of intensity and any cynics amongst us, might feel that a win for the home side, which would see them go top of Ligue 1, would have left both teams getting exactly what they wanted from the two games .

I am not saying that is the case and that this is some sort of payback for Auxerre, but it is not impossible and I view that as a kind of bonus. What seems certain is that PSG will not offer such dogged resistance this afternoon and I expect the greater motivation of AJA to see them through. Hosts only have one national title in their history and would be shock winners of Ligue 1, but three points today would at least leave them in pole position to claim a Champions League spot, which is a mighty prize in itself.

Marseille -1.5 goals 2.0 +

Auxerre -0.5 2.14 +

Good Luck.

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