This weekend marks the return of Ligue 1 with its first matches of 2024. The two games on Saturday involve teams striving for three points to enhance their prospects of participating in European competitions in the upcoming 2024-25 season.
In the first contest, AS Monaco will host Stade de Reims at Stade Louis II. Monaco must secure three points to remain in the race for the Ligue 1 title and maintain a comfortable gap over Stade Brestois, who are currently close behind in fourth place (31 points).
Reims have been a surprising team this season and needs all three points. Will Still and his squad are on the cusp of being in one of the European competition spots. Despite presently sitting in eighth position in the Ligue 1 table with 26 points, a triumph against Monaco could bring them closer to Brest, currently in fourth place with 31 points.
Monaco and Reims started 2024 with victories in the Coupe de France Round of 64. Adi Hütter and his team secured a win on penalty kicks against RC Lens, while Reims defeated National 2 side Dinan Léhon FC. Both teams will aim to keep their winning ways going.
As for the second contest, OGC Nice will go on the road to Roazhon Park for a showdown with Stade Rennais. Francesco Farioli and his squad need the three points to keep up with Paris Saint-Germain for the league title. After losing to Le Havre on Dec. 16 to close out 2023, Nice eyes a bounce-back win.
Rennes is looking forward to an improved performance in the second half of the 2023-24 season to climb up from tenth place in the table. Manager Julien Stéphan, who returned for his second coaching spell in November, now has a few games under his belt to begin steering the team in the right direction.
Both teams won their Coupe de France Round of 64 matchup, with Nice defeating AJ Auxerre on penalty kicks while Rennes picked up a win over En Avant Guingamp. The two sides will aim to keep their winning runs alive.