Ligue 1 – Mbappé, Messi, OM, OL, violence… The 10 questions we ask ourselves before the resumption of the championship

Will we see the real Messi?

His first year at L1 left everyone hungry. But Leo Messi had mitigating circumstances. He had to leave Barça reluctantly, discover a new club for the first time in his career, adapt to another championship without having been prepared… So many difficulties that partly explain why Pulga was so far from the its standards with 5 small. goals in L1 and despite his 14 assists. With a year of experience at PSG and full preparation, the Argentinian looks in a better position to express the fullness of his talent, such as his performance against Nantes during the Champions Trophy. At least that’s what everyone expects from the man with seven Ballon d’Or.

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A good start, all that is missing in Monaco?

ASM is the only club with the one from the capital that has systematically climbed the podium during the last two seasons. Impressive in the final sprint, he could have aimed higher without a mixed first half of the championship each time. The Monegasques know what they have to correct but the task is delicate. Aurélien Tchouaméni’s departure, the preliminary 3rd round and a possible play-off in C1 will have to be managed, and a frankly indigestible schedule to begin with (Strasbourg, Rennes, Lens, Paris, Nice and Lyon in the first 7 days). But if they succeed, Philippe Clément’s men can still dream of a podium. Or even better…

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Lyon, finally living up to its ambitions?

It’s an understatement to say that OL have a lot to make up to their supporters after finishing in an unworthy eighth place last season. But the fact that he is not European could become a blessing in disguise. Totally focused on the championship, boosted financially by the arrival of its future majority shareholder John Textor, strengthened athletically (Alexandre Lacazette, Corentin Tolisso, Nicolas Tagliafico, etc.), energized by a new wave of youngsters led by Maxence Caqueret and Castello Lukeba . , Peter Bosz’s team can legitimately aim for the podium. If it does not increase alone like last year.

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Staying on the podium, mission impossible for OM?

The season after qualifying for the Champions League is often difficult for OM. In the last three cases, the Marseille club has never done better than fifth place. Will next year reverse the trend? Nothing is less certain. With the surprise resignation of Jorge Sampaoli, a transfer market that does not agree with their status as qualified in C1 and a rather tense atmosphere since the arrival of the new coach Igor Tudor, Marseille is experiencing a rather worrying summer in order to keep appearing on the podium next spring. They will need to end it on a more positive note to hope to confirm their runner-up finish from last season.

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Rennes, Nice: What if we aimed higher than a top 5?

They were able to dream of the podium last season before being disappointed when it came to the verdict. Rennes and Nice, however, managed to finish in the Top 5 and gave themselves the means to at least do so as well. The Breton club has retained this offensive attacking force embodied by the Terrier-Laborde duo while strengthening its defense (Arthur Theate, Joe Rodon, Steve Mandanda). For their part, the Aiglons were able to convince Lucien Favre to find a bench that had triumphed in the image of their third place in Ligue 1 in 2017. Which, for Rennes as for Nice, to give credit to their candidacy for the podium race.

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Lille, future outsider or major failure in perspective?

It was only a year ago, but the time when Lille attacked the championship in the guise of the reigning champions already seems far away. LOSC failed to confirm, failing to finish 10th in the table after a very dismal campaign despite qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League. Falling online is a double-edged sword. Mastins, now led by Paulo Fonseca and reinforced by Mohamed Bayo, advance masked and this can be an asset to regain the heights of the classification. But a defensive sector weakened by the departures of Sven Botman, Zeki Celik and Xeka may also limit their ambitions in this regard.

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Strasbourg, Lens, Nantes: will confirmation be more difficult?

Three clubs that have in common coming off a successful season. Strasbourg, Lens and Nantes were able to combine play and results to earn a well-deserved place in the top half of the standings. Staying there, or even climbing further, will be his challenge for the season. He seems more in the Strasbourg strings, probably less affected by the departures during this transfer window. The Lensois had to decide to let Jonathan Clauss and Cheick Doucouré escape while the Nantes lost Randal Kolo Muani and will also be committed on the European front. His mission seems more complicated. But not impossible.

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Ben Yedder, Lacazette… is King Mbappé under threat?

He has reigned for four years in the Ligue 1 goalscoring rankings, and his decision to extend himself to PSG automatically places him as the hot favorite for his own succession. Kylian Mbappé, also the best passer of the championship last spring, is not, however, without a rival for the title of best pyrotechnician in France. There is always Wissam Ben Yedder, who threatened him for a long time last season. There is also Martin Terrier, eager to confirm his burst of last year (21 goals). Now there is Alexandre Lacazette, back at OL. And Jonathan David, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Andy Delort… Enough to encourage Mbappé’s challenge. Exactly, he loves it.

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Less shock in the stands, is that too much to ask?

It was the big drawback of last season. The expected return of the public to the stadiums has also resulted in an increase in violence in the stands and all the consequences this has had. There was surely an excess of excitement among some after the lockdown and difficult security devices to relaunch after the camera. The question is whether everything will return to normal this season. Recent incidents on the sidelines of friendlies between Nice and Torino and Rennes and Aston Villa do not necessarily encourage optimism. But for the sake of Ligue 1, it is urgent to put an end to this kind of overflow.

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Four descents: after Bordeaux and Sainté, is there a big one to shake?

This is an opportunity to remember that Ligue 1 resumes without two of its historic members, Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne, who were relegated at the end of last season. Also that the top 20 clubs are at the dawn of a particular exercise, as next spring will see four formations automatically relegated to the lower tier. What to imagine other strongholds of the championship in danger? Not necessarily. None are experiencing signs of concern as strong as those accompanying Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne. It is rather the “little ones” who can worry. Those for whom maintenance is the only goal. Because it will inevitably be harder to secure this year.

Messi, OM, OL, Mbappé… The 10 questions we ask ourselves before the resumption of Liga 1

Credit: Quentin Guichard

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