Relegation roulette could send Monaco down

Reuters

Thu, 26 May 03:00:00 2011

* Monaco need to beat Lyon to survive

Just when the glamorous Formula One circus comes to town, Monaco are in a race to avoid relegation from Ligue 1 for the first time since 1976 when they host Olympique Lyon in Sunday's last round of matches.

Monaco, who enjoy more relaxed tax rules than the other French clubs thanks to the their location in the gamblers' paradise, have been mediocre this season and Sunday's relegation roulette could send them down.

Laurent Banide's side will be one of seven teams, from 12th-placed Auxerre to 18th-placed Monaco, involved in the relegation battle just when the grand prix is whizzing through the principality's streets.

"We know we just need to win, that it will be enough. It is good that we have our fate in our hands," striker Benjamin Moukandjo told sports daily L'Equipe.

His side have 44 points but 15th-placed Valenciennes (45) take on Nice, 14th on 46.

Monaco though cannot expect any favours from Lyon as the seven-times French champions will be battling it out for third place and the Champions League qualifying round spot.

Amid growing media speculation that coach Claude Puel will be replaced by Auxerre's Jean Fernandez, Lyon have 61 points while fourth-placed Paris St Germain have 59. PSG travel to St Etienne.

Lyon midfielder Ederson said his team was treating the match like a 'final'.

"We just have to win this one so we don't have to worry about PSG's result," he told the club's website (www.olweb.fr).

Champions Lille will be celebrating their first title since 1954 when they host Stade Rennes, who have nothing to win or lose having already secured a Europa League spot.

 

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