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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 18, 2012

Montpellier on brink of title glory

Montpellier need only a point to be crowned Ligue 1 champions on Sunday and Paris St Germain defender Christophe Jallet believes they deserve the title.

Montpellier are three points ahead of title rivals PSG and level on goal difference, and a draw against already-relegated Auxerre this weekend will be enough to seal the championship.

Big-spending PSG could still win the title if they beat Lorient away from home and Montpellier lose at the Stade Abbe-Deschamps, but Jallet praised La Paillade for building such a strong side over the past few seasons.

"If they take a point at Auxerre, they will have earned their title,'' Jallet told L'Equipe. "We had a lot of arrivals last summer, then in January. Collectively, not everything can work well immediately just by snapping your fingers.

"When we were playing less well, it showed Montpellier that they could rely on the fact they have been together for three seasons.''

PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti knows winning at Lorient - who need a point to secure their future in the top flight - will not be easy.

"We must be focused on our game,'' the Italian said. "It's not easy to win at Lorient against a team who needs to make a point to stay in Ligue 1. We must work hard this week and then we will see what will happen to Auxerre.''

Elsewhere, St Etienne and Bordeaux will battle it out for the last European place when they meet at the Stade Geoffrey-Guichard.

With Lyon having won the Coupe de France, the team finishing in fifth will secure a place in the Europa League.

Bordeaux's top-scorer Yoan Gouffran admitted he thought the Girondins' chance of European football had gone, but a strong run of five consecutive wins has put them back in contention.

"It was something we couldn't have hoped for and we stopped talking about Europe at one point,'' Gouffran told ligue1.fr. "We got our hope back after a good run and now we've got a final to play at St Etienne.''

Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot agreed with his star striker. He said: "It's true we've come back into it from nowhere with five wins in a row, grinding out wins for the most part.

"But there you go. We needed to pick up as many points as possible to be where we are. We've taken 15 out of 15, that's exceptional but we still need one more win.''

At the bottom of the table, Auxerre have already been relegated but the remaining two places will be decided on Sunday.

Dijon, Ajaccio, Caen, Brest, Sochaux, Lorient and Nice will all go in search of the points that will secure their place in Ligue 1 next season.

There are only three points separating the bottom seven clubs in one of the most exciting relegation battles ever on the last day of the season.

Brest travel to Evian to secure their top-flight future while Dijon play at Rennes, Toulouse host Ajaccio, Caen make the trip to Valenciennes and Lyon play Nice.

Sochaux have a potentially easier task as they play at home against a Marseille side with just pride to play for, while Lorient need to stave off title-hunting PSG.

In the other game, third-placed Lille take on Nancy who have moved clear of the relegation battle.

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