The wait is almost over for the vast majority of Europe’s major leagues to get underway later this month and, on 10 August, it is the turn of France’s Ligue 1 to kick-off. PSG won the league at a canter in the previous campaign and the pressure will be on the likes of Monaco, Marseille and Lyon to try and close the gap at the top of the table.
First things first
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The first match of the new season kicks off on 10 August and sees Marseille hosting Toulouse as they look to get off to a winning start. Rudi Garcia’s side finished in fourth place last term but were only three points off Monaco in second.
Toulouse could only finish third from the bottom last season and amassed less points than they played games – in total, there just nine wins and 37 points across 38 league encounters. It is therefore of little surprise to see Marseille as the favourites for this clash at a price of just 1.40 – Toulouse are all the way out at 9.00 to pull off a shock victory on the road.
On the Saturday (11 August), last season’s runners up and the 2016/17 champions, Monaco, are in action away to Nantes. Prior to the league season starting Monaco will also take on PSG in the French super Cup, but are at 4.75 to wrap up victory in 90 minutes, with the current league champions at just 1.66, according to Oddsshark.
But while the Super Cup offers Monaco and their coach Leonardo Jardim the chance to lay down a marker of intent, it will be across the months of the league campaign where we will really see whether or not they have the capabilities to offer a sustained title challenge to PSG. A trip to Nantes is by no means a walk in the park, but if the side harbour genuine aspirations of wresting the title from PSG’s grasps then it is a game they must win.
Nantes finished in the top half of the table last season but were close to 30 points behind Monaco. It is therefore the visitors who come into this game as the favourites to take the points and you can back Monaco to win this encounter at a price of 2.25 – meaning you could more than double your money in the process.
Nantes are priced longer at 3.40 and a draw falls in the middle at 3.10, both prices giving betters the opportunity to more than triple their investment. There is no getting away from the fact that Monaco are the more technically superior side, and 1 -0 win for the away side is priced competitively at 7.50.
And finally, champions PSG kick off their league title defence on home soil against Caen. Neymar and company are the red hot favourites to maintain their crown and you can back them at a price of just 1.10 to do so.
To put their expected dominance into context, the second favourites for the title are Lyon, priced all the way out at 13.00. Monaco and Marseille are both at 15.00 to take the Ligue 1 title this season.
The club from the French capital won the club by a massive 13 points last season and the hope is that this year we will see a closer title race. Caen, however, who finished in 16th place last season and averaged just a point per game, are unlikely to make much of a challenge.
PSG are the overwhelming favourites for this game at just 1.10, while Caen are all the way out at 21.00. The visitors best hope of a result may well be trying to play for a draw, but even that result is priced high at 9.00.
New PSG boss Thomas Tuchel will be eager to hit the ground running and as such we may well see a goal fest here. A 4-0 win fir the home side is priced at just 8.50, meaning that a US$5 bet would lead to a US$52.50 pay out.
Ligue 1 first round fixtures:
Friday, 10 August
(1.40) Marseille x Toulouse (9.00); draw (4.20)
Saturday, 11 August
(3.40) Nantes x Monaco (2.25); draw (3.10)
(2.30) Angers x Nimes (3.10); draw (3.20)
(1.90) Nice x Reims (4.00); draw (3.40)
(1.85) St Etienne x Guingamp (4.33); draw (3.40)
Sunday, 12 August
(1.20) Lyon x Amiens (11.00); draw (7.00)
(1.10) PSG x Caen (21.00); draw (9.00)