Ligue 1: Lens eye Champions League berth

May 24, 2007

PARIS, May 24 (Reuters) - Third place in Ligue 1 and a Champions League qualifying round spot are at stake for RC Lens who must win at already relegated Troyes on Saturday.

Lens, who have 57 points going into the final round of matches, are level on points with Girondins Bordeaux but occupy third place by virtue of a better goal difference.

Bordeaux travel to Toulouse, who are still on course for at least a UEFA Cup spot.

Elie Baup's side drew 0-0 at Nantes last weekend but the league could award them a 3-0 win as the match was abandoned 10 minutes from time following a pitch invasion by Nantes fans.

If that happens, Toulouse would move up one place to sixth, two points behind Lens and Bordeaux.

'We have rules. If the club is held to be responsible by the disciplinary committee, the game is lost...and consequently won by their opponents,' French Professional League (LFP) chairman Frederic Thiriez told the league's Web site (www.lfp.fr).

The LFP is due to rule on the matter on Thursday.

Stade Rennes, however, could surprise everybody when they visit Lille, who have nothing to lose or win.

The Brittany side have had a good run since the winter break and lie one point behind Bordeaux and Lens, who have both been struggling lately.

Pierre Dreossi's side have not lost a match since a 1-0 defeat at AJ Auxerre on March 3 and have grabbed 20 points from their last 10 games.

Lens, who have been in either second or third place consistently since early November, have won only twice in their last 10 matches.

'We have to win this match, there is no calculation to be made,' Ivory Coast striker Aruna Dindane told the Lens Web site (ww.rclens.fr).

'We have a lot of respect for Troyes but also for ourselves because we know we are able to win there even though we have had some difficult moments in the season.'

Cup winners Sochaux entertain St Etienne with a UEFA Cup berth at stake.

Bottom club Nantes will bid farewell to Ligue 1 for the first time in their history when they travel to champions Olympique Lyon.