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Soccer-Ligue 1 roundup-Time to make history - Montpellier coach
May 12, 2012 / 12:45 PM / 5 years ago

Soccer-Ligue 1 roundup-Time to make history - Montpellier coach

PARIS, May 12 (Reuters) - Brief news from Ligue 1 ahead of this Sunday’s matches (all games 1900 GMT):

* Montpellier players have a chance to make history if they clinch the club’s first Ligue 1 title on Sunday, coach Rene Girard told reporters.

“Against Lille, it is going to be our time to write a chapter in the club’s history,” he said ahead of their home clash against third-placed Lille.

“It is very important so we are fully aware of it. We are delighted, but we do not have the time to enjoy for now.”

Leaders Montpellier are on 76 points, three ahead of Paris St Germain with two games to go. They will be crowned champions if they get a better result at home to Lille than PSG achieve against Stade Rennes.

Montpellier are without playmaker Younes Belhanda, who has been suspended for three matches after he was involved in a mass brawl during the game against Evian Thonon Gaillard.

* Lille’s forward Eden Hazard, who has been reportedly linked to both Manchester clubs for next season, was named player of the year by the daily L‘Equipe on Saturday.

In-form Hazard has already scored 17 league goals and set up 15 others this season, his best stats for the club, to help the defending champions keep stay in the title race until late.

The Belgian is also the pundits favourite to win his second Player of the year award in a row when the Ligue 1 players and coachs’ choice is to be announced on Monday.

* Paris St Germain are fully aware of the threat posed by fifth-placed Stade Rennes, who they have not defeated at the Parc des Princes since 2006.

“We have to have 14 warriors on the pitch because we are to play against a very strong team, with a very good away record,” midfielder Blaise Matuidi told a news conference.

PSG are without suspended midfielder Thiago Motta.

* Stade Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti is to tweak his attacking options after his team lost their last two games without scoring a goal.

“I lost my head because of my forwards,” he told a news conference on Friday. “We have no obvious starters. We never found the right line-up, it has been our problem for the whole second half of the season.”

Rennes occupy the Europa League qualifying berth on 57 points, ahead of St Etienne on goal difference. Girondins Bordeaux and Toulouse, who are both on 55 points, are also chasing the fifth spot.

* Stade Reims and Troyes were promoted to Ligue 1 on Friday after they secured their places in the second-division’s top three with one game to go.

Six-times champions Reims, who lost two European Cup finals to Real Madrid in 1956 and 1959, last featured in the top flight in 1979.

Gregory Blachier; Additional reporting by Dimitri Moulins in Montpellier; editing by Martyn Herman

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