OM, Rennes, Strasbourg, Nice… is the battle for the podium already over?

In light of the latest results of this 31st day of Ligue 1, OM and Rennes come out stronger and position themselves as favorites to climb onto the podium at the end of the season, behind the unassailable PSG. But is the battle for the top 3 already over?

A quiet success at the Vélodrome against Montpellier (2-0). On Friday evening, a nipper at Auguste-Delaune against Reims for the men of Bruno Genesio (2-3). At the end of this 31st day of Ligue 1, OM and Stade Rennais solidified their position on the podium of the French Championship, taking a few points as their competitors were sometimes swept away (Nice by Lens (3-0)) or had to settle for a draw (Strasbourg against Lyon (1-1)).

While there are only seven games left before the end of the 2021-2022 fiscal year, is the gap big enough to already be in the top 3 of Ligue 1? Let’s take a look at the calendar waiting for the contenders for the podium to get a more accurate picture of the balance of power.

OM, 2nd with 59 points

Let’s start with the PSG dolphins first. This Sunday evening, Jorge Sampaoli’s men are seven points ahead of Strasbourg, 4th. In their last seven encounters, the Marseillais will host the Vélodrome three times, including two matches against more or less direct competitors: OL (J35) and Strasbourg (J38). On the travel side, two will be particularly important to negotiate well: that of next week against Paris and that of the 37th day in Rennes. Four games out of seven to come, suggesting the Olympians still have their cards in their hands. It remains not to succumb in the final sprint and not to leave too many feathers in the Europa League Conference.

Rennes, 3rd with 56 points

For the Bretons, the final games to close out the season will mainly be played at Rhoazon Park (four out of seven). This Friday, a first big shock awaits Rennes against Monaco (J32), before traveling to Strasbourg (J33). After that, everything could be decided in the last two days with the reception of the Public Prosecution Service (D37) and then the trip to Lille (D38). Here too it is solid that Martin Terrier and others will have to dream big of the Champions League.

Strasbourg, 4th with 52 points

Toko Ekambi’s late equalizer and Dimitri Liénard’s missed break goal on Sunday could cost Racing dearly. Not undermined by OL, Julien Stéphan’s men still lost two precious points that had brought them closer to the podium. Before the end of the season, the residents of Strasbourg have four big matches to negotiate: at home against Rennes (J33) and Paris (J35) and away against Lille (J34) and OM (J38). Unbeaten since January 23 in Ligue 1 – but with many draws (five of their last nine encounters) – the Alsatians could be the unexpected outsider in the race for the podium at this end of the season.

Nice, 5th with 51 points

The Aiglons, swept away by Lens in Bollaert (3-0) on Sunday, are well on their way. With three defeats in their last four league games, Christophe Galtier’s players are burying their hopes in C1 after being the scarecrow of Ligue 1 for a long time. What does their calendar have in store for them? Four home games of the last seven, with a Coupe de France final alternating between the 35th and 36th days. Monaco (J33) and Lille (J37) are on the agenda, but the real problem for the people of Nice will mainly be to properly negotiate their matches against those fighting for maintenance, namely Lorient (J32), Bordeaux (J35 ) and Saint Etienne (J36).

Monaco, 6th with 50 points

When Nice sticks out his tongue, the ASM gets back on its feet. The men of Philippe Clément signed a third victory in a row against Troyes (2-1) on Saturday and slowly but surely take the lead. The calendar features Rennes (J32), Nice (J33), Lille (J36) and Lens (J38) but with three trips over these four crucial races. So it is outside that the future of the Monegasques could be played out. And Wissam Ben Yedder’s team-mates can do better as they rank 8th in the league table of the best traveling teams in Ligue 1.

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