Montpellier know it's now or never to pip PSG to title


Montpellier president Louis Nicollin has implored his players to keep their focus as they chase their first Ligue 1 title. With wealthy Paris St-Germain set to dominate for years to come, it could mean they are already in the last-chance saloon.

The southern French team lead PSG by three points with two games remaining, and host third-placed Lille tomorrow. They will be champions if they better PSG's result against Rennes.

"It had better be this year because then it is going to be PSG all over the place for seven years – there's no way we'll avoid this," Nicollin said. "I'm so stressed out. We could be eighth, comfortable, having secured our place in the top flight. It's stressful because we need to avoid third place and that annoying Champions League play-off. Second would be great, but first..."

Montpellier must take to the field without midfielder Younès Belhanda, linked with a move to Manchester City, as revealed in The Independent this week. The 22-year-old is suspended following his involvement in a brawl during a Ligue 1 game earlier this month.

In Italy, Juventus, who were crowned champions last Sunday, host Atalanta looking to become only the third side to complete a whole Italian league season unbeaten. "We have gone 37 games without defeat," manager Antonio Conte said. "We want to go the whole season unbeaten. It would be a historic feat."

Bayern Munich remain confident of beating Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund in tonight's German Cup final, after losing out to the club in the league for a second consecutive season. "I'm absolutely convinced we have the quality to beat them," Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said.

In Spain, champions Real Madrid host Mallorca tomorrow seeking the win that will make them the first Spanish club to earn 100 points in a season.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own