from PSG to maintenance, towards a three-speed season

Photos Getty Images/HuffPost Editing With the resumption of the French football championship, Ligue 1, this Friday August 5, it seems that several levels of struggle will quickly take shape. First within PSG, which will want to win everything, including at European level, then between several leaders seeking to qualify for European competitions, and finally to maintain between a good half of the teams involved due to a season that will see four teams descend to Ligue 1.

Photos Getty Images/HuffPost Editing

With the resumption of the French football championship, Ligue 1, this Friday August 5, it seems that several levels of struggle will quickly take shape. First within PSG, which will want to win everything, including at European level, then between several leaders seeking to qualify for European competitions, and finally to maintain between a good half of the teams involved due to a season that will see four teams descend to Ligue 1.

FOOTBALL – A new year begins, and it promises to be very special. This Friday, August 5, Olympique Lyonnais will receive a promoted player, AC Ajaccio, at Groupama stadium for what will be the start of the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season, the first division French football championship.

A vintage clearly marked by the long interruption to come at the end of the calendar year due to the World Cup in Qatar, but also by the threat of four relegations at the end of the season which should allow the elite of French football to reduce to 18 clubs.

So before OL-ACA, Strasbourg-Ajaccio, Clermont-PSG and Marseille-Reims, to name only these four posters from the first day of Ligue 1, The HuffPost takes stock of the various challenges of the season.

  • The planets finally aligned for PSG?

And now, since we are talking about Ligue 1, how not to mention the boss of the place, Paris Saint-Germain, titled eight times over the last ten seasons. But if the Parisians have got into the habit of leaving only the crumbs to their national opponents, this season could mark the passage to an even higher level in the domination of the capital club.

From July 31, the Champions Trophy set the tone: despite the absence of Kylian Mbappé (he was suspended), PSG crushed Nantes (4-0) without ever giving the impression of forcing. With Lionel Messi and Neymar who seem more motivated and sharpened than last year, and who will want to prepare as well as possible for the Qatari World Cup, as well as a less flashy recruitment but more adapted to the need than in previous years, difficult to see who will be able to compete Bets over the duration of an entire championship.

Especially since if the French prodigy finally refused the advances of Real Madrid to stay in “his” city, we imagine that he will not be content to flame occasionally. So many signs, added to the eternal Parisian desire to prepare as well as possible for the European spring deadlines, which suggests a great season on the side of the Parc des Princes.

  • Among the cadors, the fight for the podium promises

Once this observation has been made, it is therefore difficult to imagine the main Ligue 1 teams interfering in the (Parisian) fight for the title as Monaco or Lille have been able to do in recent years. Unless there is a failure of PSG and its new coach, we get along. This does not detract from the density of the top of the table and the struggles for the European places which are announced.

Thus, among the teams that finished in the top eight of the championship last year, most carried out ambitious recruitment during the off-season. Olympique Lyonnais has brought back glorious veterans (scorer Alexandre Lacazette and world champion Corentin Tolisso), Stade Rennes has so far managed to keep all the members of its fiery attack (82 goals scored in the year past) while adding solid elements in defense, Monaco provided some fine names (the Swiss striker Breel Embolo, the Japanese from Liverpool Takumi Minamino…) and OGC Nice relies on the very important means of its owner, Ineos, to do better than a disappointing fifth place last season.

Only Marseille’s uncertainty remains, since at OM, a change of summer coach as well as a still incomplete recruitment pose the threat of a sluggish start to the season, especially with a Champions League campaign at hand. argue. But beyond this particular case, all the elements are in place for the fight at the top of the table to be particularly fierce during the coming season, without forgetting that a team like Strasbourg or Lens can obviously get involved in the race. for Europe.

  • At the bottom of the table, the season of all dangers

And it is not only at the top of French football that the competition will be exacerbated. This Ligue 1 season is the season of all dangers for the smallest budgets in the championship.

In order to secure the economy of the flagship clubs of French football and to make them more competitive by granting them more income, the decision was taken to return to 18 clubs (as between 1997 and 2002). This means that four of the twenty teams starting the season will be relegated next June, ie 20% of the starting contingent.

And by cascading effect, the operation will be the same in Ligue 2 the following year, which means that the descent could in the worst case turn into a slide towards the amateur world in barely two years. It is therefore easy to imagine that this threat will give the games between the least well-equipped teams in Ligue 1 a dimension to start this year. What guarantee the stake (but not necessarily the show, it must be admitted) at all levels of a championship more than ever divided into various levels.

See also on the HuffPost : Mbappé stays at PSG, Parisian supporters exult

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