Ligue 1 Preview: Sochaux, Evian set for relegation showdown
By Football News
Sochaux could seal a remarkable escape and relegate opponents Evian with victory in their final Ligue 1 clash of the season on Saturday.
The Stade Auguste Bonal outfit have languished in the relegation zone since the third week of the top-flight season, making them its longest-serving inhabitants.
However, an unbeaten run of seven matches, including a 1-1 draw with champions Paris Saint-Germain, has seen Herve Renard's men climb to within a point of safety.
And it is this weekend's visitors Evian who currently occupy that safe haven of 17th position, only keeping their heads above water with a 2-0 win over Nice last weekend.
Evian were held to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture back in August, so will need to up their game with Ligue 1 survival at stake.
The rest of the division's strugglers will be breathing a sigh of relief this week. Despite sitting just two points clear of the drop zone, Montpellier, Guingamp and Nice are in no danger of falling into Ligue 2 due to the meeting between Sochaux and Evian.
That trio face tricky ties against PSG, Marseille and Lyon respectively.
At the top end of the table, Lille have been one win away from a place in the UEFA Champions League for two matches, but a draw at Bastia and a home defeat to PSG have allowed Saint-Etienne to close the gap to two points with one game to go.
The objective is simple for Lille in their season-closer at Lorient - equal or better Saint-Etienne's result at home to rock bottom Ajaccio to hang on to third spot.
Lyon face a similar battle to cling on to a UEFA Europa League qualifying spot, with Marseille lurking a point behind with a better goal difference.
Having already broken the record for most points in a Ligue 1 season, PSG will surpass the marker for most wins by beating Montpellier on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Bastia are at home to Nantes, Monaco host Bordeaux, Reims face Rennes and the already-relegated Valenciennes travel to Toulouse.