Ligue 1 2012, Week 26 Preview And Fixtures: Top Sides Should Have It Easy

DORTMUND, GERMANY - DECEMBER 06: Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda of Marseille celebrates during the UEFA Champions League group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Olympique de Marseille at Signal Iduna Park on December 6, 2011 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The increasingly nutso coocoo bananas relegation battle will take center stage, with whichever bottom-dweller that pulls out an unexpected point or three standing to gain some breathing room.

I'll be honest; most of these games are going to really, really suck. A lot.

Not all of them though! Probably.

Nancy vs. Lyon

Saturday 3/3; 19:00 CET/1:00 ET

After a heartbreaking finish to one of the most exciting games of the year in any league so far this season, Lyon now have get to take on Nancy. I'd pull out the whole "difficult to get mentally prepared after such a difficult result against such a poor team" line, but it's Nancy so I think Lyon will probably be okay.

Pick: Lyon, 2-0

Dijon vs. Montpellier

Saturday 3/3; 19:00 CET/1:00 ET

Montpellier likely felt nearly as upset as Lyon after PSG's equalizer at the death last weekend; as close as the title race in France has been, even a single point could end up making all the difference. But as the cliché goes, Montpellier can only take care of their own business. Doing so against Dijon should not present a great deal of difficulty.

Pick: Montpellier, 3-1

Lille vs. Auxerre

Saturday 3/3; 19:00 CET/1:00 ET

Auxerre: still not very good, still deserve better than 19th, too bad to deserve a whole lot of sympathy. Lille: still schizophrenically one of the best teams in France. This game will either be insane or eye-bleedingly dull.

Pick: Lille, 2-1

Marseille vs. Toulouse

Saturday 3/3; 19:00 CET/1:00 ET

Remember when Marseille went on that tear and were almost inarguably the best team in France? That was fun.

Pick: Marseille, 1-0

St. Etienne vs. Evian

Saturday 3/3; 19:00 CET/1:00 ET

This is not a particularly difficult week for the top six, is it?

Pick: St. Etienne, 3-1

Bordeaux vs. Nice

Saturday 3/3; 21:00 CET/3:00 ET

Anyone that doesn't believe that luck is at the very least the second most important factor in sports should try to explain how Bordeaux us in 9th place with 36 points and Nice is only out of the relegation zone thanks to goal difference.

Pick: Draw, 1-1

Caen vs. Brest

Sunday 3/4; 17:00 CET/11:00 ET

In the same spirit, if you're the kind of person that doesn't believe any team should ever play anti-football, explain Brest's 22 goals scored, 22 goals against and 11th position in the league.

I'll give it a shot; anti-football is boring and everyone hates you.

Pick: Draw, 0-0

PSG vs. Ajaccio

Sunday 3/4; 17:00 CET/11:00 ET

PSG losing this game would be one of the most hilarious things in the history of the world. Not that I'm partisan in any way. Or prone to hyperbole.

*cough*

Pick: PSG, 2-0

Lorient vs. Rennes

Sunday 3/4; 21:00/3:00 ET

Rennes and Toulouse are this season's forgotten good teams in Ligue 1. Since Toulouse is playing Marseille, they'll get plenty of attention this week, so I'd like to take this time to let Rennes know: Hey guys, you're doing super. Keep your chins up!

:)

Pick: Rennes, 1-0

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