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Goal.com's team of experts turn their attention to the Ligue 1 title race as they predict the results from the final eight weeks to decide who they think will be crowned champions

Ligue 1 may not be the most glamorous of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues, but Le Championnat continues to offer its fans great excitement until the very end of the campaign. While the battle against the drop is exceptionally close and involves a glut of teams, it’s the fight to become champions that is rightly capturing the attention.

Going into the final eight weeks of the campaign, Lille lead the league from Marseille and Lyon, any of whom could yet pick up the crown at the end of the season. But these clubs are not afforded the luxury of simply concentrating on the title race; Lyon in particular have to be wary of the threat from below, which is posed by Rennes and Paris Saint-Germain, both of whom have aspirations to play in the Champions League next season.

Ligue 1 | As it stands

  P W D L F A Pts

Lille
30 16 10
4 52 29 58

Marseille
30 15
10
5
44
26
55

Lyon
30 14
11
5
52
28
53
Rennes 30 14 9 7 32 23 51
PSG 30 13 10 7 44 31 49
None of the top clubs have a particularly easy set of fixtures to play before the campaign closes, with each of the top five due to play at least two of their rivals in the last eight matches, barring Marseille, who only have a trip to Lyon left to negotiate.

The arithmetic of it all is rather complicated, even at this relatively advanced stage, but Goal.com has nevertheless attempted to plot the course of the remainder of the campaign.

Can Lille hold on to complete an unlikely title success? Will Marseille recover to retain their crown? Or can Lyon win their eighth title? Here’s what our editors think, and you can have your say in the poll below.



MOHAMMED ALI - Goal.com International


LILLE

MARSEILLE
LYON
RENNES
PSG
Round 31 Bordeaux (h)
D 1-1
Montpellier (a) W 2-0
PSG (a)
L 2-1
Lorient (h) W 2-0
Lyon (h)
W 2-0
Round 32 Lorient (a)
W 2-0
Nice (h) W 2-1
Montpellier (h)
W 2-0
Monaco (a) L 1-0
Brest (a)
W 1-0
Round 33 Arles (h)
W 4-0
Auxerre (h) W 2-1
Toulouse (a)
W 2-1
Bordeaux (h) D 1-1
Valenciennes (h)
W 2-1
Round 34 Nancy (a)
W 0-0
Lyon (a) D 1-1
Marseille (h)
D 0-0
Valenciennes (a) D 0-0
Monaco (a)
L 1-0
Round 35 Saint-Etienne (a)
D 1-1
Brest (h) W 3-0
Auxerre (a)
D 0-0
Caen (h) W 1-0
Nancy (h)
W 1-0
Round 36 Sochaux (h)
W 2-1
Lorient (a) D 0-0
Brest (a)
W 3-1
Saint-Etienne (a) W 2-1
Bordeaux (a)
D 1-1
Round 37 PSG (a)
L 2-1
Valenciennes (h) W 2-0
Caen (h)
W 2-0
Nancy (h) W 1-0
Lille (h)
W 2-1
Round 38 Rennes (h)
D 1-1
Caen (a) W 2-1
Monaco (a)
D 1-1
Lille (a) D 1-1
Saint-Etienne (a)
L 1-0

WINNERS: Marseille (75 points)
RUNNERS-UP: Lille (70)
THIRD PLACE: Lyon (68)
FOURTH: Rennes (66)
FIFTH: PSG (64)

The Ligue 1 title run-in is an exciting one, with each challenger set to square off with another team in the top five. Defending champions Marseille have the 'easiest' run-in compared to the rest, and they look comfortable enough in securing valuable points against the likes of Brest and Caen after negotiating Lyon. Lille agonisingly missed out on the Champions League on the last day of the season last year, and with both PSG and Rennes standing in the way of a first league crown in 57 years, I predict that les Dogues would probably come unstuck at the last hurdle again after already slipping to defeat at Monaco last weekend. Lyon look assured enough to stave off Rennes for the final Champions League spot, whilst les Rouge et Noir and PSG will jostle for position to qualify for the Europa League after damaging their bid to qualify for the premier competition already.

ROBIN BAIRNER - Goal.com International

LILLE

MARSEILLE
LYON
RENNES
PSG
Round 31 Bordeaux (h)
W 2-1
Montpellier (a) D 1-1
PSG (a)
D 1-1
Lorient (h) W 2-1
Lyon (h)
D 1-1
Round 32 Lorient (a)
D 1-1
Nice (h) W 2-0
Montpellier (h)
W 2-1
Monaco (a) D 1-1
Brest (a)
L 2-1
Round 33 Arles (h)
W 3-0
Auxerre (h) W 2-1
Toulouse (a)
D 0-0
Bordeaux (h) D 0-0
Valenciennes (h)
W 2-1
Round 34 Nancy (a)
W 2-0
Lyon (a) D 1-1
Marseille (h)
D 1-1
Valenciennes (a) L 1-0
Monaco (a)
D 1-1
Round 35 Saint-Etienne (a)
D 1-1
Brest (h) W 3-0
Auxerre (a)
W 2-0
Caen (h) W 2-0
Nancy (h)
W 2-0
Round 36 Sochaux (h)
W 2-0
Lorient (a) D 1-1
Brest (a)
D 1-1
Saint-Etienne (a) L 2-1
Bordeaux (a)
D 1-1
Round 37 PSG (a)
D 1-1
Valenciennes (h) W 2-1
Caen (h)
W 3-0
Nancy (h) W 2-0
Lille (h)
D 1-1
Round 38 Rennes (h)
W 2-1
Caen (a) W 3-0
Monaco (a)
W 3-1
Lille (a) L 2-1
Saint-Etienne (a)
L 2-0

WINNERS: Lille (76 points)
RUNNERS-UP: Marseille (73)
THIRD PLACE: Lyon (69)
FOURTH: Rennes (62)
FIFTH: PSG (59)

Lille have proven themselves to be the best side in France to date this season, but last weekend’s wobble away to Monaco proves that they still have mental demons to overcome if they’re to close out the Ligue 1 title. Each title contender have fixtures remaining that will likely cause them difficulties, with tricky away matches in venues like Montpellier, Brest and Lorient to play a key role. But so too will the matches against the other main contenders; the loser of Marseille’s meeting in Lyon, for instance, is likely to suffer an almost fatal blow in the run-in. OM and OL both have the experience, but Lille have the players.

ALEXANDRE WALRAEVENS - Goal.com France

LILLE

MARSEILLE
LYON
RENNES
PSG
Round 31 Bordeaux (h)
D 1-1
Montpellier (a) D 1-1
PSG (a)
D 1-1
Lorient (h) D 1-1
Lyon (h)
D 1-1
Round 32 Lorient (a)
W 1-0
Nice (h) W 2-0
Montpellier (h)
D 1-1
Monaco (a) D 0-0
Brest (a)
W 1-0
Round 33 Arles (h)
W 5-0
Auxerre (h) W 2-1
Toulouse (a)
W 2-0
Bordeaux (h) W 1-0
Valenciennes (h)
D 2-2
Round 34 Nancy (a)
W 2-1
Lyon (a) L 1-0
Marseille (h)
W 1-0
Valenciennes (a) L 2-1
Monaco (a)
L 2-1
Round 35 Saint-Etienne (a)
D 1-1
Brest (h) W 2-0
Auxerre (a)
W 3-1
Caen (h) W 3-1
Nancy (h)
W 1-0
Round 36 Sochaux (h)
W 2-0
Lorient (a) D 1-1
Brest (a)
W 1-0
Saint-Etienne (a) D 0-0
Bordeaux (a)
D 0-0
Round 37 PSG (a)
D 0-0
Valenciennes (h) W 2-1
Caen (h)
W 2-1
Nancy (h) W 1-0
Lille (h)
D 0-0
Round 38 Rennes (h)
D 1-1
Caen (a) W 2-0
Monaco (a)
D 0-0
Lille (a) D 1-1
Saint-Etienne (a)
L 2-1

WINNERS: Lille (74 points)
RUNNERS-UP: Marseille (72)
THIRD PLACE: Lyon (71)
FOURTH: Rennes (64)
FIFTH: PSG (63)

Lille are playing the best football by far this season. They will maybe struggle with the pressure on them at the end of the season but it could be enough to take the title away from Marseille. OM are not playing well but have some talented players and a strong defence. The key matches for them are Montpellier and OL at Stade Gerland. If they manage to take the six points from those matches they will be hard to beat. An interesting stat: OM are the best team in Ligue 1... in 2011. But Lille have an advantage of three points and goal difference, so virtually a four point lead. PSG will struggle certainly; they have some difficulties up front and the Champions League race is virtually over - they will have a last chance against OL this weekend. Lyon, after drawing 2-2 at Nice amid some controversy, will cruise to the third Champions League place, but Claude Puel's reign is at an end. Some players will quit the club at the end of the season - not a very good situation to bring back a title. Then Rennes will be the surprise in fourth place. They have the best defence in Ligue 1 for now but struggle in attack. 

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