Ligue 1 preview

Bordeaux on the brink of clinching title

May 21, 2009

Girondins Bordeaux could clinch their first French title in a decade in Saturday's home Ligue 1 encounter against Monaco but that looks unlikely to stem the exodus of some of their top players at the end of the season.

Laurent Blanc's side will be crowned champions for the first time since 1999 if they beat Monaco and Marseille fail to win at Nancy. If Bordeaux get a draw, a Marseille defeat would hand the Aquitaine side the title.

Saturday's match could, however, be the last one at the Chaban Delmas stadium for Moroccan Marouane Chamakh and Brazilian Fernando, who have both been instrumental in the club's ongoing nine-game winning streak.

"Leave the club as a French champion, that would be amazing. I might play my last game at the Chaban Delmas stadium on Saturday," midfielder Fernando told sports daily L'Equipe earlier this week.

Striker Chamakh told L'Equipe he dreamed about playing in the Premier League and had been in contact with London club Tottenham Hotspur.

"I want to go. If we win the title, I will leave without a guilty conscience," the 25-year-old told the paper.

Chamakh has scored 12 goals in Ligue 1 this season, the same as his French team mate Yoann Gourcuff. The France playmaker joined Bordeaux on loan from AC Milan this season. The French club has an option to buy him but Gourcuff also has his say.

"I still haven't made my decision," he told reporters after scoring his sixth goal in five games last weekend. "It is not an easy one. I grew up as a player here this season."

Although they trail Bordeaux by three points with two games remaining, Marseille have not given up hope of being the club to end Olympique Lyon's seven-year rule over Ligue 1.

Lyon, now seven points off the pace, gave Bordeaux the edge on Marseille with their 3-1 victory at Stade Velodrome last Sunday.

"We must face facts, Bordeaux are now clear favourites for the title," Marseille captain Lorik Cana told reporters.

"But you can be sure we won't give up because we would have even more regrets if we did and if Bordeaux lost one of their last two games," he added.