Goal have teamed up with Huawei ahead of the 2014-15 season to bring you the best stats from Europe’s top leagues, with the France's elite set to kick off first on Friday
Less than a month after the 2014 World Cup came to an end in Rio de Janeiro, Ligue 1 returns on Friday as reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain travel to Stade Auguste Delaune for their season opener against Reims.
Head coach Laurent Blanc guided PSG to their fourth league title last season as they finished nine points clear of runners-up Monaco, and the Parisians will be keen to make it three in a row this term.
They will face stiff competition from Monaco, though, with the Stade Louis II side full of ambition after coming remarkably close in their first season back in Ligue 1 last year, while regular contenders Lyon and Marseille will be hoping to join the race for domestic glory as well after failing to impress last campaign.
Although the French top flight lost James Rodriguez to Real Madrid, there are still plenty of high-profile names to be found in Ligue 1, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, Thiago Silva, Radamel Falcao and Joao Moutinho among the standout names.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea man David Luiz’s move to PSG is arguably the most eye-catching deal ahead of the new season, yet the transfers of Serge Aurier, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Michy Batshuayi have not gone unnoticed either.
The key to success in Ligue 1 is not necessarily the presence of individual quality, however, as Paris Saint-Germain’s biggest strength last term was their incredible passing accuracy.
Blanc’s men found a team-mate with 88.8 per cent of the passes they attempted, more than any other team in Europe’s five top leagues (Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League, Serie A).
Only Barcelona and Bayern Munich came anywhere close, but domestic rivals Monaco had to settle for a passing accuracy of 82.8%. If Leonardo Jardim’s side aim to dethrone PSG in the new season, they would be wise to work on their passing on the training pitch.
Want to keep track of all the key statistics in Europe’s top five leagues? Keep an eye out for the Huawei Team Ranking, due to be launched in the first week of September.