With the penultimate weekend of the 2017-18 French Ligue 1 season now done and dusted, all that remains is one match in which to make or break your season. For Marseille, for example, their home clash against Amiens could spell the difference between a place in the early stages of next season’s Champions League, or the Europa League. Lyon and even Monaco face very similar challenges. At the other end of the table, with Metz and Troyes already relegated Toulouse will want to halt their recent slump in the visit of Guingamp if they are to avoid joining those two in Ligue 2 next term. Metz, in fact, play host to Bordeaux on the final day of the season – and it is these visitors that this week’s Ligue 1 Player of the Week represents.
Martin Braithwaite has only been at Bordeaux since the end of the January transfer window, moving to France on loan from Championship side Middlesbrough. He had only signed for Boro six months prior for a fee reportedly in the region of £9m, but has reportedly said he wants to remain with Les Girondins beyond the end of his current loan at the end of the season. The thing is, he has struggled generally to make much of an impact, with only two matches prior to last weekend’s clash with Toulouse yielding positive points returns.
When Toulouse arrived at Matmut Atlantique, however, they had plenty to play for and fire in their bellies. Three points adrift and with two games remaining, the visitors were keen to get something from the game after suffering consecutive defeats in their previous two outings. That wouldn’t prove to be the outcome, however, as Bordeaux ran out 4-2 winners. Braithwaite scored two and set up another to secure the points for his side, and arguably do his chances of remaining no harm whatsoever.
He scored twice as many goals in 50 minutes of play than he has managed in the four months since signing for the side now managed by Gus Poyet. He has largely played second (or third) fiddle behind the likes of Nicolas de Preville and Francois Kamano, but he certainly made the most of his chances here to pile the pressure on their guests. With the World Cup in Russia on the horizon, Braithwaite will be hoping he can reproduce this form in the club’s final game of the season at Metz on Saturday and carry that momentum into the Danish national team when they kick off their international campaign against Peru on 16th June.
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