French Fancies: Lyon lionesses, Dijon mustard, Corsican spirit – and Evian

Last but one edition of French Fancies for the season: saluting the ladies of Lyon, commiserating with Le Mans, wishing one former Sunderland man well for tomorrow, when Ligue 1 relegation is settled, while congratulating a second on winning promotion last night. And, for once, no digs at Bordeaux

The French season is nearly over – the remaining Ligue 1 relegation issue, who goes down with Lens and Arles-Avignon, will be resolved tomorrow night. The Sunderland interest is Eric Roy, manager of Nice, who need a point at Valanciennes to be sure.

Nice could lose and still survive but would need Nancy (home to Lens) or Caen (home to Marseille) to lose, or Monaco only to draw at home to Lyon. Une histoire compliqué, as the French might say and Eric knows he’d be a fool to rely on one of the results elsewhere going his way.

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So near, so far: Wigan to Newcastle, Lens to Lorient

Another instalment of French Fancies, Salut! Sunderland‘s occasional dip into football as it’s played on the other side of La Manche – with a comparison of tight competition in the top flights of both France and England and news of the latest phase of David Bellion’s footballing career …

It is time for M Salut to take another glance at the French Ligue 1. And there is one striking similarity between what is going on there and in our own Premier League season.

Look at ninth position in the PL and eighth in Ligue 1: our friends up the road at Newcastle United on 36 points in England, Lorient on 36 in France.

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