Ligue 1 Outright Betting Tips & Predictions

Brett Curtis /
ligue 1

In France, Ligue 1 returns on Friday 5th August, with Lyon hosting newly promoted AC Ajaccio, however all focus will inevitably be on Paris St.Germain this season, as new manager, Christophe Galtier looks to lead the side to domestic success and bid for a first ever Champions League victory.

Check out our thoughts on the Title Challengers, those with Top 4 aspirations, as well as potential top scorers and clubs that could well be battling against Relegation.

Winner

For the outright, its almost impossible to look beyond Paris St.Germain as champions, having won Ligue 1 in eight of the last ten seasons and of course winning last season by fifteen points, ahead of Marseille. The big deal for this season was the retention of Kylian Mbappe, who turned down a move to Real Madrid for an astronomical offer and alleged say in team matters. It remains to be seen if this causes any friction with the likes of Lionel Messi or Neymar, but in reality its shouldn’t have too much impact on the outcome of this season.Angel Di Maria has left for pastures new, but they have brought in Nuno Mendes and Vitinha to further strengthen a ridiculously talented and large squad and all in all, I don’t see anyone stopping another PSG onslaught to the title.

Top 4 Finish / Challengers

In terms of the top four, the stage looks set for Lyon and Marseille to battle out for the likely runner-up spot, with both doing some impressive business in the transfer window so far.

Lyon, who finished a poor eighth last season, have brought in Corentin Tolisso and Alexander Lacazette on free transfers, plus Nicolas Tagliafico for a steal from Ajax. They have managed so far to resist bids for Lucas Paqueta and you feel that if they can keep hold of the midfielder, they could push PSG, especially with the lack of distraction from European campaigns.

Marseille are expected to build upon their success last season, when finishing as runners-up, with manager Igor Tudor keeping the squad together so far and adding some fine additions to it, including Jonathan Clauss from Lens for é7.5 million. Loanees such as Milik, Guendouzi and Under have been picked up on permanent deals and that continuity should see them go far.

Monaco are the anomaly in terms of squad improvement, with the loss of Aurelian Tchouameni to Real Madrid a big blow. They have brought in Takumi Minamino from Liverpool and Breel Embolo to try and improve on the 60 goals scored last season, but defensively and without Tchouameni, they look more vulnerable than they have for some time and Phillippe Clement may have a job on his hands to secure Champions League football.

Behind these, there really are no sides who have managed to impress in the transfers window, with Lille, Nice and Rennes all failing to develop the squad sufficiently.

Relegation

At the bottom of Ligue 1, relegation battles over the last few seasons have been exciting affairs, with no club safe from the dreaded drop, as was seen with stalwarts in Bordeaux and St Etienne joining Metz in Ligue 1 relegation last season.

This term once again looks to be a case of anything and anyone goes, with at least eight or nine sides all with the genuine potential to drop down to Ligue 2.

Toulouse, Ajaccio and a returning Auxerre after a long absence take their place in the top flight and all unfortunately can be easily backed to go back down and between the three sides, just é2.5 million has been spent on players.

Of those sides who survived last season, Lorient, Troyes and Clermont Foot all look potentially set for another relegation threatened season, with Troyes’ turnover of sixteen players, both in and out of the club, a major concern. They did bring in Savio from Atletico Miniero for é6.5 million, but there is a feeling that they have put all their eggs in the one basket here. If he fails to hit the ground running, Troyes could have some serious issues.

Top Scorer

The least surprising stat of the Ligue 1 season was that Kylian Mbappe was top goalscorer after banging in 28 goals. However, the big surprise came from the lack of threat elsewhere in the side, with Neymar bagging a respectable 15 goals and Lionel Messi just 6 goals in his debut campaign for the club.

Behind the French superstar was the astounding Wissam Ben Yedder with 25 goals, while Martin Terrier and Moussa Dembele both struck 21 times.

As much as it would be easy to pick on Mbappe to once again win the golden boot at an odds-on price, a former Gunner could put his compatriot in his place. Alexandre Lacazette was a great scorer for Lyon in his previous stint at the club and a return to the side from Arsenal could be the new lease of life he needs, especially with a Lyon side seemingly on the up. It remains to be seen how he dovetails with team-mate Dembele at the Groupama Stadium, but there is still life in the old dog yet, which could propel him back to the top of the goalscoring charts in Ligue 1.

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