France - football

Marseille face battle in Nantes to maintain fading title dream

Marcelo Bielsa's Marseille team have fallen off the pace in the French first division
Marcelo Bielsa's Marseille team have fallen off the pace in the French first division AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS

Marseille have wilted over the past fortnight in their bid to win the French football first division title. They've fallen behind Lyon, Paris St Germain and Monaco. With six games remaining, Marcelo Bielsa's side need all three points in their game against Nantes.


It's now or never for Marseille as they go into their clash with Nantes on Friday night.

Just over two weeks ago, two points separated the leading three of Paris St Germain, Lyon and Marseille.

That was before "le classique" at the Velodrome between Marseille and PSG.

The side from the capital won it 3-2 and have since gone on to reach the final of the Coupe de France and have also claimed the League Cup.

PSG's quest for four trophies took a blow on Wednesday night at the Parc des Princes when they lost the first leg of their Uefa Champions League quarter-final 3-1 against Barcelona.

But they're still in the driving seat in the bid to retain their Ligue Un title.

The Parisians are two points behind leaders Lyon with a game in hand.

Marseilles are fourth, seven points off the pace and are battling with third placed Monaco and fifth placed St Etienne for the third place finish which will secure a berth in next season's Uefa Champions League.

It's been something of a turnaround since Marseille and Nantes last met in November. Back then at the Velodrome Florian Thauvin and Rod Fanni were on the scoresheet as Marseille went four points clear of PSG after 15 games.

As the business end of the season approaches, it's PSG who have shown the greater consistency.

Marseille won't have an easy ride on Friday night at Nantes.

Though they're in mid-table with 40 points, Michel Der Zakarian's men can't be certain of their Ligue Un survival.

They're five points off the drop zone and a poor run in the final six games could draw them back into the relegation fray.




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