French Ligue 1: Outright Preview

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We take a look at how the 2018/19 French Ligue 1 season is likely to pan out. 

PSG have won five of the last six editions of the French Ligue 1, a period of dominance that unsurprisingly commenced following the purchase of the club by the Qatari organisation, Oryx Qatar Sports Investments.

The only side that can really come close to challenging the Parisian’s domination of the local footballing landscape is Lyon. Marseille are still too far behind while Monaco may well see a downturn in their fortunes following the sales of several key players over the last two years.

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To Win Outright
PSG 1/10
Lyon 12/1
Marseille 14/1
Monaco 14/1

The Contenders

PSG
PSG are the obvious favourites here, the Parisians have assembled an almost embarrassing array of stars in the last few years. They’ve been slightly quieter in this transfer window with fear that Financial Fair Play could force an embargo in coming seasons. As such, they’ve signed Kylian Mbappe permanently (he was on loan at the club last season) for around 135 million Euros while Gianluigi Buffon joined on a free from Juventus.

Thomas Tuchel will also be thrilled to see young Portuguese winger Gonçalo Guedes return following a successful loan spell at Valencia last season. The 21-year-old played 33 times in La Liga last season, scoring five times and bagging nine assists. While he may struggle to get into the team with the likes of Mbappe, Neymar and Angel di Maria ahead of him in the pecking order; we’ll almost certainly see him play some role in the upcoming season.

Lyon
Lyon, who are easily the second best side in the land, represent the biggest threat to PSG’s title charge. Like most clubs in France, they’ve not really set the world alight with their transfer business.  Tanguy Ndombélé is their biggest arrival (although he’s signed on for 8 million Euros following a successful loan stint at Lyon from Amiens). Their biggest coup, however, was managing to keep hold of talismanic forward, Nabil Fekir. They went on a late season charge last time out that was nothing short of incredible. They won nine of their last 10 fixtures to finish in third place on the standings, more of the same on a more consistent basis will see them challenge PSG.

Marseille
Marseille haven’t done much in terms of transfer business. Jordan Amavi – who was on loan at the southern club from Aston Villa – made his move permanent. Their biggest signing, however, has to be 21-year-old Duje Caleta-Car from RB Salzburg. The youngster is widely considered to be one of the best young centre-halves in Europe and formed part of Croatia’s World Cup squad. Expect him to slot straight into the side in the coming season with a potential move to a much bigger club on the cards in the next few seasons if he is able to continue his development.

Monaco
Monaco should be there or thereabouts, however, the sales of Thomas Lemar, Fabinho, Terence Kongolo, Adama Diakhaby and Soualiho Meite may leave them a bit short. Of course, they’ve strengthened with the acquisitions of Aleksandr Golovin from CSKA Moscow and Jean-Eudes Aholou from Strasbourg. One player you’ll certainly want to keep an eye on, however, is young winger Willem Geubbels. The 16-year-old arrived for 20 million Euros, so it’ll be interesting to see how much he plays this season.

Verdict: Lyon 12/1
There’s really no point in backing PSG at 1/10 this season. Lyon, however, offer real value at 12/1. They’ve shown that they can mix it up with the best and will no doubt be desperate to add another Ligue 1 title to their cabinet. It’s also worth mentioning that the hierarchy at PSG don’t really care much for the league title. It’s the Champions League that they’re after which leaves just a tiny opening for Lyon to get their hands on the league. Small stake on at 12/1. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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