The new Ligue 1 season will start this weekend and it promises to be unprecedented. The championship will exceptionally be spread over ten months, with a calendar truncated by the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. At the end of the 38 days, four teams will be relegated to Ligue 2.
An extended championship. Ligue 1 will stretch in the usual way during its 2022-2023 edition, which will start this Friday with OL-Ajaccio at Groupama Stadium (9 p.m.). The 38 scheduled days will exceptionally be played over ten months, from August 5 to June 3. The fault of a calendar truncated by the 2022 World Cup. For the first time in history, the most prestigious football competition will take place during the winter, in order to avoid the high summer heat in Qatar.
Ligue 1 will therefore take a month and a half break to let the best nations on the planet compete in the Persian Gulf. The World will begin on November 21 with four posters: Senegal-Netherlands, England-Iran, Qatar-Ecuador, United States-Wales. Les Bleus will face Australia, Denmark and Tunisia in the group stage. The tournament will end on December 18 with the final scheduled for Lusail, about fifteen kilometers north of Doha.
Only one week of preparation before the World Cup
Dates which will force the internationals of the French championship to chain matches at a frantic pace, and even more so for the clubs involved in Europe since the first phases of European competitions which previously lasted until mid-December will be completed at no load. beginning of November. The 15th day of L1 will be played from November 11 to 13, notably with Monaco-OM, OL-Nice or PSG-Auxerre. A big week before the start of hostilities in Qatar. Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Aaron Ramsey, Jonathan David or Arkadiusz Milik will only have a few days to swap their club jersey for that of their selection.
Conversely, players not concerned by the World Cup (the vast majority) will have to keep in shape during these six weeks without an official match. By avoiding losing the rhythm. The clubs have already anticipated this long, unprecedented break by adapting their preparation schedule. With the objective of remaining efficient over time.
The fear of injury
After the World Cup, Ligue 1 will resume in the middle of the week, on December 27 and 28, with in particular PSG-Strasbourg and OM-Toulouse for a French boxing day, just ten days after the Lusail final. Certainly without several internationals, who would have benefited from a period of rest, depending on their career in the competition. The state of form of the stars in crampons will also have to be closely monitored during the second part of the championship, since there will also be no winter break. By avoiding fatigue-related injuries, especially since PSG and high-ranking teams will be involved in the European Cup at the same time (Champions League, Europa League or Conference League).
“The clubs don’t have much choice, they have an obligation to start the championship well, even more so for clubs with less margin, explains for RMC, Alexandre Marles, former coach of the Blues, PSG and OL. You have to get points very quickly. It’s more after the World Cup that appeals to me. Going to Qatar, playing in a warm atmosphere, that won’t be a problem. They’re going to play in the warm, it’s very It’s more the return, finding hard ground, the cold, more difficulties of preparation and recovery.
Four teams relegated to L2
To add a little spice to this Ligue 1 season like no other, the race to maintain looks tougher than ever. This 2022-2023 financial year will be the last with twenty teams involved. At the end of the championship, four clubs will be relegated directly to Ligue 2 next spring (and two others will move up from the second division), in order to reduce the table to eighteen teams from the 2023-2024 edition. What to expect fierce encounters between the less good students, who will have to fight to the end to keep their place in the elite.