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Who will win Ligue 1?

Tom Gott
Apr 4, 2021, 6:00 PM GMT+1
Mauricio Pochettino is looking for his first league title
Mauricio Pochettino is looking for his first league title | John Berry/Getty Images
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We haven't seen a Ligue 1 title race like this in a long time.

France has been Paris Saint-Germain's playground for a while now, but not only are Mauricio Pochettino's side facing an uphill battle to retain their crown, but there are three other sides vying for the ultimate glory.

With seven games left to play, it's all still up in the air - so it's only right to take a look at each side's run-in and see who is favourite to come out on top.

Lille - 66 points

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-LILLE-NIMES
Lille have a lead at the top | FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/Getty Images

Remaining fixtures:

Metz vs Lille (09/04)
Lille vs Montpellier (16/04)
Lyon vs Lille (25/04)
Lille vs Nice (02/05)
Lens vs Lille (09/05)
Saint-Etienne vs Lille (16/05)
Lille vs Angers (23/05)

Lille have it all in their hands after beating PSG, but that away trip to Lyon is huge. It's easily the toughest test on the calendar for Lille, who must also travel to fifth-placed Lens and host seventh-placed Montpellier.

Les Dogues' fixture list is actually quite a tough one. Saint-Etienne and 11th-placed Nice are their only remaining opponents in the bottom half of the table, so there are plenty of opportunities for Lille to slip up.

On the final day of the season, Lille will host Angers, who are just one of three sides to hand them a defeat this year. They'll obviously still be favourites, but this is a tricky run-in.

PSG - 63 points

Kylian Mbappe
PSG have work to do | JEFF PACHOUD/Getty Images

Remaining fixtures:

Strasbourg vs PSG (10/04)
PSG vs Saint-Etienne (18/04)
Metz vs PSG (24/04)
PSG vs Lens (02/05)
Rennes vs PSG (09/05)
PSG vs Reims (16/05)
Brest vs PSG (23/05)

What's the point in even trying to predict how PSG will play this season? They're favourites when they come up against almost any team on the planet, yet seemingly love throwing us curveballs with their performances.

Pochettino's men have no more meetings with any of their rivals - fifth-placed Lens are their biggest threat on paper - and they will come up against a handful of strugglers. Reims, Strasbourg, Saint-Etienne and Brest are all in the bottom half of the table, so they should be easy pickings.

You can conceivably see PSG winning all of those fixtures, which will give the Parisians confidence over the final few weeks of the campaign.

Monaco - 62 points

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Monaco are in red-hot form | VALERY HACHE/Getty Images

Remaining fixtures:

Monaco vs Dijon (11/04)
Bordeaux vs Monaco (18/04)
Angers vs Monaco (25/04)
Monaco vs Lyon (02/05)
Reims vs Monaco (09/05)
Monaco vs Rennes (16/05)
Lens vs Monaco (23/05)

Four sides in the bottom half, four sides in the top half.

It's a mixed bag for Monaco. They might be above all of their remaining opponents, but Niko Kovac's side must navigate tricky meetings with Lyon, Lens and Rennes if they are to have any hope of toppling either Lille or PSG.

With just one loss in 2021 under their belt, Monaco are clearly in electric form and will fancy themselves up against anyone, but they would have undoubtedly preferred a bit of a friendlier run-in.

Lyon - 61 points

Lucas Paqueta, Ryan Cherki, Memphis Depay
Lyon might have too much to do | Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Remaining fixtures:

Lyon vs Angers (11/04)
Nantes vs Lyon (18/04)
Lyon vs Lille (25/04)
Monaco vs Lyon (02/05)
Lyon vs Lorient (09/05)
Nimes vs Lyon (16/05)
Lyon vs Nice (23/05)

Lyon will have plenty of chances to pick up some easy points, but that back-to-back with Lille and Monaco will tell us pretty much everything we need to know about Lyon's title hopes.

Away from those two, Lyon's next-biggest test will come in the form of tenth-placed Angers, with five of their remaining seven opponents in the bottom half. Three of them are in the bottom four.

Lyon can expect to be in the chance until the final day, but their hopes could rest on beating Monaco and Lille. They could go five-for-five elsewhere, so keep your eyes on them.

Conclusion

Of the four, it's PSG with the friendliest run-in. They're well ahead of all of their remaining opponents in the table, and while that's obviously not concrete proof that they'll beat them all, there is reason for Pochettino to be fairly satisfied with where they are right now.

Both Lille and Monaco face tricky schedules, but it's Lyon who could have the biggest role in deciding who walks away with the trophy. Rudi Garcia's side must face both in what look like they're only two real tests, so victories in both could set them up for a dramatic finale.

Truth be told, it's impossible to definitively say who's going to come out on top. PSG probably have the best chance, but you could easily make a case for any of these winning the grand prize. Of all the title races in Europe, this is the one to watch.

For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!

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