The French Ligue 1 starts on August 9 with a tilt between Monaco and Lyon. The soccer season in France began with the Super Cup duel between champions, PSG, and French Cup winners, Rennes. PSG lost the cup final on penalties, but they got their revenge now with a 2-1 victory.
Last season, PSG secured their eighth overall and second straight title without problems after ending the campaign with 16 points more than Lille. The Great Danes surprised many by finishing in the second place while Lyon was the third. These three teams will be playing in the Champions League this year. St Etienne, Rennes, and Strasbourg (qualification) will be playing in the Europa League.
FC Metz and Stade Brestois 29 earned promotion from Ligue 2, while Stade Malherbe Caen and En Avant de Guingamp relegated from Ligue 1.
PSG, Lille, Lyon, and Monaco spent more than $300 million on reinforcements so far in this summer window. Unlike the previous years, the Saints didn’t spend a lot of money in this transfer window. However, they do have the strongest side, and it is no wonder they are the biggest favorites to win the third consecutive title.
France Ligue 1 – Winner and Top 3 Finish Betting Odds
The defending champions PSG is the strongest favorite to win another domestic title in France, but the odds are just -850 on them to reclaim the trophy. Thomas Tuchel bought defender Abdou Diallo from Borussia Dortmund and former Everton midfielder IdrissaGueye while Pablo Sarabia came from Sevilla. The Saints also got Ander Herrera on a free transfer after his deal with Manchester United expired.
Giovani Lo Celso moved to Real Betis; Christopher Nkunku left for RB Leipzig, GrzegorzKrychowiak joined Lokomotiv Moscow while Timothy Weah went to Lille. Juventus snapped Gianluigi Buffon and Adrien Rabiot for free while Dani Alves returned to Brazil. Although PSG perhaps looks weaker than its 2018-19 team, they are undoubtedly still the best team in France and shouldn’t have problems to defend the throne.
Lyon will probably battle Marseille, Lille land Monaco for the second position this time around. The Kids sold midfielder Tanguy Ndombélé to Tottenham; left-back FerlandMendy to Real Madrid, and Nabil Fekir to Real Betis. Lyon turned to Lille to acquire two players – midfielder Thiago Mendes and left-back YoussoufKoné while center-back Joachim Andersen joined from Sampdoria. The odds on Lyon to win the title are +1200 while the highest odds on them to finish in Top 3 are -187.
Marseille ended the 2018-19 season in the 5th place and without European soccer, and they are desperate to play in the continental competition next year. However, their squad is looking weaker than before as they sold Lucas Ocampos to Sevilla and Clinton N’Jie to Dinamo Moscow. Mario Balotelli, Rolando, and Tomas Hubocan have all departed while AymenAbdennour returned to Valencia following his loan at Velodrome. Darío Benedetto arrived from Boca Juniors while Álvaro González joined on loan from Villarreal. The Olympians are +3000 to win the championship, and they are +275 to enter Top 3.
Monaco almost relegated last season as they finished the campaign with just three points ahead of the 19th-placed Caen. Head coach Leonardo Jardim returned after Thierry Henry’s sacking and managed to keep them in Ligue 1. The Monégasques sold YouriTielemans to Leicester City for $50 million and bought right-winger Gelson Martins from Atletico Madrid. They also brought goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte from Montpellier. Monaco is +4000 to win the title, and they are +400 to finish in Top 3.
The biggest surprise of the 2018-19 campaign, Lille, is targeting another Top 3 finish, but considering all the changes they went through this offseason, it’s not going to be easy. The Great Danes sold their best player Nicolas Pepe to Arsenal for $88 million while they also sold striker Rafael Leão to AC Milan. Thiago Mendes, YoussoufKoné, and Anwar El Ghazi also left, and Lille earned about $90 million so far in the summer.
Yusuf Yazici joined from Trabzonspor, and Victor Osimhen came from Charleroi. Timothy Weah is a new Lille forward while Benjamin André left Rennes to go to Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Lille has ten new players, and Christophe Galtier will need some time to figure out his starting lineup. That’s the reason why they are +4000 with BetDSI Sportsbook to win the championship while the Great Danes are +275 to stay in Top 3.
France Ligue 1 – Relegation Betting Odds
Newcomers Brest and Metz are among the most serious contenders to relegate to Ligue 2, while Dijon, Amiens, and Angers are also the candidates. Unlike in England, for instance, two teams will relegate directly while the 18th-placed team is going to the relegation play-offs against the third-best team from the Ligue 2.
According to the bookmakers, Stade Brest 29 has the biggest chance to return to Ligue 2, and several outlets are giving +100 odds on them to go down this year. Jean-Marc Furlan has the weakest team in the league, and he’s facing an uphill battle to keep his team in the elite for another season.
Dijon is close behind at -110 after they defeated Lens in the relegation play-offs last year to stay in Ligue 1. The Mustards sold some of their key players this summer, such as Valentin Rosier, Chang-hun Kwon, Sory Kaba, and Wesley Saïd, and spent practically nothing in return. Maybe it is time for Dijon to move to Ligue 2.
Metz won Ligue 2 and secured promotion to Ligue 1, and unlike Dijon, they kept the core of their squad. The Maroons have slightly better chances to stay up with higher relegation odds than Brest and Dijon. Various oddsmakers are giving +225 on Metz to go down, but with new reinforcements and young, talented squad, they shouldn’t be in trouble. They are looking better than relegation fellows, and they could be one of the pleasant surprises this year.
Amiens also didn’t sell the best players and brought some fresh faces to strengthen the team. The Unicorns comfortably maintained the elite status last season as they had more than enough points ahead of the relegation zone. Just like Metz, they are also +225 to drop to Ligue 2, but there are weaker teams in this league, so they should be fine.
Angers is the last team on this relegation list. They ended the previous season in a high 13th place, and even though it’s would be surprising to see them in the top half of the table in 2019-20, Angers has the quality to finish with minimum ten points above the relegation zone. The bookies are offering +450 odds on Angers to go to Ligue 2, but they have the best chances of all teams on the list to stay in the first tier.
PSG is pulling all the strings in France for the last few years, and if they fail to secure their third straight Ligue 1 title, it would be shocking. That being said, the title battle in France is not very interesting. Still, we’re probably going to see a decent fight for the Champions League and Europa League spots. The relegation battle could turn out to be the most intriguing one.