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Ligue 2: Auxerre leader, Bordeaux in crisis, play-offs... 5 questions about an exciting end of the season

Ligue 2 is not just the weekend.

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Ligue 2: Auxerre leader, Bordeaux in crisis, play-offs... 5 questions about an exciting end of the season

Ligue 2 is not just the weekend. The 34th day of the championship will take place this Tuesday evening (8:45 p.m.) with ten matches simultaneously. There will still be four days left after this one, and many more points to be taken. Auxerre, leader ahead of Angers and Saint-Étienne, sees a return to L1. Valenciennes is already relegated to the National and three other clubs will go down with it. We take stock at the dawn of the final sprint.

Yes. AJA leads Ligue 2 with 61 pts, a small lead over Angers (58) and Saint-Étienne (57). Finishing in the top two, and thus avoiding the play-offs for promotion to L1, will not be easy. Auxerre seemed to be heading towards the title before suffering two defeats at Quevilly (4-3) and Rodez last Saturday (2-0). A new disappointment against Laval this Tuesday would tense up the entire Burgundian club.

“We can say that we are in tough times,” admitted coach Christophe Pelissier on Tuesday evening. We lack intensity. The final sprint is difficult, we know, on an athletic and psychological level. You have to have the weapons to rebel.” Returned to L1 two years ago after a decade in L2, Auxerre made the move after a final defeat at home against Lens (1-3).

It's a real crossroads to move up to L1 without finishing in the top two of L2. As a reminder, the 4th and 5th will face each other in a decisive match. The winner will face the 3rd in L2 (currently Saint-Étienne). The winner of this match will challenge the 16th in L1 in a two-way confrontation. Finishing in the top 5 of L2 therefore does not guarantee anything, but it gives you the right to dream. And there are still very many of them who have this right.

Rodez, 5th with 50 pts, is only five units ahead of Ajaccio, 11th, and seven over Bastia, 13th. Pau, Laval, Caen, Guingamp and Grenoble are among the candidates for the dams. The club best placed to experience these play-offs seems to be Paris FC, 4th with 52 pts, and which travels to... Rodez on Tuesday.

Leader from the 6th to the 16th day, Stade Lavallois seemed well on its way to returning to L1, a first since 1989. The story seemed good to pay tribute to Michel Le Milinaire, legendary coach (1968-1992) who died on December 1 at the age of 92. Yes, but football is played on the field. There was a narrow defeat at ten against eleven against Quevilly (2-4 on February 3), frustrating draws (Valenciennes, Ajaccio), and these 4 defeats in the last 5 matches.

Laval is now 7th, nine points behind Angers, 2nd. It will probably be the play-offs or nothing. Tango coach Olivier Frapolli is worried about the defensive fragility of his team, after the setbacks against Annecy (0-3) and Pau (3-0). “From Tuesday, from the trip to Auxerre, we will have to find the words, find the right composition, the right animation to reassure ourselves, and at least get a point,” he explained.

Probably not. The Girondins, 14th, are six points ahead of Troyes, 17th and first relegation. Be careful, however: Bordeaux has just suffered two defeats against Bastia (2-3) and Saint-Étienne (2-1) and has won only one of its last seven matches. “Seeing how we play, the results will come,” promised coach Albert Riera, 41, appointed last October after the dismissal of David Guion. Bordeaux led for a long time against the Greens, until a late double from Irvin Cardona (90th 1, 90th 4) while ASSE had been playing with ten men since the 73rd minute. The problem is that there is more than one problem in Bordeaux, which came very close to promotion to L1 last year, and which retained this objective this season.

He is very far from it, hence the anger of the supporters. In a press release published this Monday, the Ultramarines group expressed its fear “for the future of the club”. “For too long we have shown patience and loyalty. […] Enough is enough: we have to face reality, the players, the staff and the management have abandoned their supporters and it is unthinkable for us to condone this.” The Ultramarines call on all supporters “not to attend the first 15 minutes” of the Dunkirk reception on Tuesday. The club owned by Gérard Lopez, plagued by financial problems since the start of the season, is going through new turbulence.

As we have said, Bordeaux is not yet maintained. Behind the Girondins (41 pts), the battle rages. Dunkirk (also 41 pts) is 15th, followed by Annecy (39). Then there are those who are virtually in National: Troyes (35), Concarneau (35) and Quevilly (33). Valenciennes, bottom red with 17 pts, is already condemned. In terms of current form, ESTAC is worrying with a series of 4 defeats in progress. Concarneau, who has not won in 9 matches, is not doing any better.

The last few days promise to be perilous with, for the most part, a fight at a distance. Dunkirk will, however, play a key role, first this Tuesday in Bordeaux, then during the 36th day with a trip to Quevilly. “When we're like that, it's very hard to play against us,” appreciated coach Luis Castro after a success in Amiens last Saturday (0-1).

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