Monaco host Lyon to kick off the 2019/20 Ligue 1 this Friday the 9th of August. Here is our preview of the upcoming season, outlining the sole title contenders, second place hopefuls and the epic ten-way relegation battle!
Only One Title Contender
Let’s be honest, they might as well crown PSG champions of Ligue 1 already. Having claimed six of the past seven French titles, the Parisian outfit still boast some of world’s best footballing talents in Kylian Mbappe, Marco Verratti and Neymar. The biggest question for PSG surrounds the status of Neymar. All money was on the Brazillian to keave the French capital during the summer but it looks as if he’ll be hanging around, which could potentially create some fractions in Paris.
Key signing/s: Pablo Sarabia (Sevilla), Ander Herrera (Man Utd), Abdou Diallo (Dortmund), Idrissa Gueye (Everton)
Key loss/es: Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Giovani Lo Celso (Real Betis), Christopher Nkunku (RP Leipzig), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Dani Alves (Sao Paulo)
First 5 games: Nimes (H), Rennes (A), Toulouse (H), Metz (A), Strasbourg (H)
Predicted Finish & Title Odds: 1st - 1.12
Race for Second Place
Although it’s highly unlikely, if there is one team that could better PSG, it’s Lyon. After a third place finish last season, the club has experienced a lot of change with new manager Sylvinho and the departures of Ferland Mendy, Tanguy Ndombele and Nabil Fekir. With money in the bank they have made some decent signings in Joachim Andersen and Thiago Mendes, but nothing to make PSG sweat. The likes of Memphis Depay, Anthony Lopes and youngster Houssem Aouar will have to play the season of their life to even trouble PSG.
Key signing/s: Ciprian Tatarusanu (Nantes), Thiago Mendes (Lille), Joachim Andersen (Sampdoria)
Key loss/es: Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham), Nabil Fekir (Real Betis), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid)
First 5 games: Monaco (A), Angers (H), Montpellier (A), Bordeaux (H), Amiens (A)
Predicted Finish & Title Odds: 2nd - 10
Marseille, Monaco, Lille and Saint Etienne
Similar to Lyon, Marseille are experiencing a sense of new beginnings this season with new manager Andre Villas-Boas taking over. They are a chance of finishing second if Dimitri Payet and Florian Thauvin thrive. Monaco are always in the mix after their heroics in season 2016/17, but will need to improve significantly on their dismal 2018/19 campaign. The departure of Nicolas Pepe will most likely see Lille drop down the table after an unlikely second place finish last campaign. Finally, Saint Ettienne are an outside chance of placing second on the back of a solid 2018/19 season, the arrival of Ryad Boudebouz will help.
Epic Relegation Battle
Brest, Metz, Dijon, Amiens, Olympique Nimes, Angers, Stade Reims, Toulouse, Racing Strasbourg, Nantes
You only have to take one look at the odds to realise the relegation battle in Ligue 1 looks more exciting than the title race! It’s anyone’s pick as to who will go down with newly promoted sides Brest and Metz two of the more obvious candidates. More often than not, relegation favourites don’t go down in Ligue 1 so if you’re looking for some value bets, Angers and Toulouse might be the way to go. Angers 2018/19 season could’ve looked a lot different after earning sixteen draws and seven 1-0 victories. Whilst Toulouse finished 16th on the back of only eight wins, and let’s be honest, they’ve never looked comfortable in Ligue 1.
Brest 2.50 Metz 2.87
Dijon 3 Amiens 3.50
Olympique Nimes 4.33 Angers 5
Stade Reims 5 Toulouse 5
Racing Strasbourg 9 Nantes 10
Check out our preview of the 2019/20 Premier League season!