who has the best calendar in the battle for the Champions League?

Seven days after the end, there seem to be five teams in the race for the Champions League. Marseille and Rennes are in a favorable mood, but face the most difficult programs in contrast to Nice and Monaco, which are quite spared.

Marseille, 2nd (59 points): four shocks next to the Conference League

Two shocks against old foes (PSG, Lyon), two others against direct competitors (Strasbourg and Rennes), one match against a maintenance contender (Lorient) and two others against soft-skinned teams (Nantes and Reims). OM’s schedule is not easy at the end of the season and will also depend on how the front is to be managed with the Conference League.

D32: moves to Paris
D33: receives Nantes
D34: moves to Reims
D35: receives Lyon
D36: moves to Lorient
D37: moves to Rennes
D38: receives Strasbourg

Rennes, 3rd (56 points): strong to finish

Rennes has yet to take on three direct rivals (Monaco, Strasbourg, Marseille) at this busy end of the season that will end in Lille, the place where qualification for the Champions League in 2007 slipped through the fingers. Prior to this epilogue, de Bruno Genesio’s men agreed to play a Breton derby against Lorient and travel to the field of Nantes, a hated rival, three days after the latter’s Coupe de France final. They also host Saint-Etienne, who is struggling to avoid relegation. That’s seven encounters against no demobilized team.

D32: receives Monaco
D33: moves to Strasbourg
D34: receives Lorient
D35: receives Saint-Etienne
D36: moves to Nantes
D37: receives Marseille
D38: moves to Lille

Strasbourg, 4th (52 pts): three peaks to climb

Strasbourg’s Champions League dreams will be put to the test at the end of the season with two shocks against PSG and Marseille and another against Rennes, the former club of Julien Stéphan. Racing also challenges two candidates for maintenance (Troyes, Clermont), Brest but also Lille, referee of this race for the Champions League, as Losc will face four of the five entrants.

D32: moves to Troyes
D33: receives Rennes
D34: moves to Lille
D35: receives PSG
D36: goes to Brest
D37: receives Clermont
D38: moves to Marseille

Nice, 5th (51pts): the most favorable calendar?

On paper, Nice presents the most favorable program for the candidates with four matches against contenders for maintenance (Lorient, Troyes, Bordeaux, Saint-Etienne) and another against a team without real ambitions (Reims). The Niçois will get just one big shock during the short trip to Monaco on the 33rd day. To this we must add the welcome from Lille, left behind in the race for the podium but still in the running for a European qualifier.

D32: receives Lorient
D33: moves to Monaco
D34: receives Troyes
D35: moves to Bordeaux
D36: receives Saint-Etienne
D37: receives Lille
D38: moves to Reims

Monaco, 6th (50pts): fairly clear horizon

The next two days will be turning points for Monaco, facing two direct opponents: Rennes and Nice. If properly negotiated, the result can be clear against teams in the middle or bottom of the table over the last five days.

D32: moves to Rennes
D33: receives Nice
D34: moves to Saint-Etienne
D35: receives Angers
D36: moves to Lille
D37: receives Brest
D38: goes to Lens

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