What are the stakes in Ligue A before the end of the regular season?
There are three days and 9 points left for each of the League A teams before the end of the regular season on March 25. Only Cambrai, already relegated, has nothing left to play. For the others, the stakes range from a seeded place in the quarter-finals to a ticket to the European Cup, via qualification for the play-offs which begin on April 8.
First place: Tours off to a good start
If the first place in the regular season is not synonymous with the title, it will offer a ticket for the Champions League 2023-2024. Tours, at the top of the standings since December 3, receives Toulouse on Saturday, plays Nantes on the 18th, before receiving Nice on March 25, for a taste of the French Cup final (April 2 at the Halle Carpentier, in Paris).
With four points ahead of Nantes-Rezé and two home matches, TVB has every chance of retaining its first place. Which could also be sealed next weekend during the confrontation between the two teams from the banks of the Loire.
Nantes-Rezé should still be among the top four in the standings, with home advantage in the quarter-finals. Behind, Chaumont, Tourcoing, Saint-Nazaire and Narbonne are grouped in two points, the second and third named clashing this Sunday in the North.
Play-offs: a four-way match
Toulouse, Poitiers and Paris can still grab the eighth place currently held by Montpellier, and qualify for the play-offs. The Parisians are in the best position to dethrone the reigning French champion, but are seven points behind the Hérault club, and have the difficult task of welcoming the NRMV this Friday evening at the Salle Charpy.
The Montpellier residents can secure their place in the quarter-finals by winning before the tie-break this Saturday against Poitiers, before going to Saint-Nazaire (5th) and receiving Chaumont (3rd).
Qualification for the Challenge Cup: slim hope for Nice and Plessis-Robinson
Mathematically, the Niçois like the Robinsonnais can still grab ninth or tenth place, which would allow them to qualify for the Challenge Cup (C3) with the four quarter-finalists eliminated. Before this 24th day, Paris is ninth with 28 points, and Poitiers tenth with 24 points, as much as Toulouse, two more than Nice and three than Plessis.
If Nice, Plessis-Robinson, Poitiers and Toulouse still have two away matches, the Azureans have the busiest schedule, with trips to Chaumont this Saturday and Tours on the 25th (they receive Toulouse on the 18th).