There have been a couple of important transfers in Ligue1 this summer, moves that will surely affect teams’ performances. Ibrahimovic’s move to Manchester United is by far the transfer with the biggest impact. Ben Arfa will be the one trying to replace Ibrahimovic, he’s got the same profile, a huge experience, highly skilled, but in the end he is no Ibrahimovic…
Once again PSG should dominate all Ligue1 opponents, especially since they increased the strength in midfield, after transferring-in 3 talented midfielders: Krychowiak, Lo Celso and Meunier. They should create plenty of scoring chances per game, and it won’t matter if in the first rounds they will struggle to convert. Unfortunately at odds around 1.10, PSG to win Ligue 1 doesn’t hold any value.
Last season Lyon were one of the primary candidates for betting on goals. They played attractive football and were often engaged in high scoring games. Now they increased the defensive strength after transferring-in NKoulou from Marseille. NKoulou is one of the best defenders in Ligue1 and will definitely be a huge plus for Lyon. In these conditions, losing defenders Bedimo and Kone (transferred-out) won’t create any problems for Lyon.
Just like last season, Monaco were active on the transfer market, but unfortunately chemistry will surely suffer, and Monaco may once again need a couple of months in order to build decent playing relations. They transferred-in fullbacks Sidibe from Lille and Mendy from Marseille, who should be starters in most games. These two fullbacks have a very aggressive playing style, as they often participate in the offensive phase. From this point of view Monaco may suffer defensively, especially since experienced defensive midfielder Toulalan left the squad. Keeper De Sanctis and defender Glik arrived from Italy to increase the defensive strength, but it remains to be seen if they will find a place in the lineup. Forward Falcao also returned to the club after an unsuccessful loan at Chelsea. According to his statements, Falcao is aiming for the golden boot trophy, but unfortunately his glory days seem to be over.
The chances for PSG to top the tournament, followed by Lyon and Monaco (just like last season) are extremely high, but once again there is absolutely no value in odds. At 1.66 for Lyon to finish in top 3, and 1.83 for Monaco, there is no point in locking any funds in these bets.
Nice finished 4th last season, but it will be a miracle if they can repeat the performance. They lost both forwards Ben Arfa and Germain who scored 31 goals last season, more than 50% of Nice’s total goals. It will be almost impossible for Nice to replace them. On top of that, they also lost solid midfielder Mendy and fullback Pereira. They’ve transferred-in a couple of players, but there is no known talent among the newly arrived.
Regarding the teams favorite to finish in the upper half of the table (Lille, St Etienne, Bordeaux, Rennes, Marseille), none of them seem to have strengthen in comparison to last season. Rennes lost both wingers Dembele and Boga, and although they weren’t key players, they could make a difference on their own, after dribbling entire teams. Bordeaux lost key striker Diabate, midfielder Chantome and fullback Debuchy. St Etienne also transferred-out a couple of important players, defender Bayal Sall, fullbacks Brison and Clerc, and midfielders Tabanou and Cohade. Until now they have brought-in only fullback / winger Dabo from Montpellier. Marseille are going through difficult times, and we shouldn’t be surprised to see them finishing in the lower half. Besides losing a bunch of important players (Batshuayi, Cabella, Dja Djedje, Lemina, Mandanda, Mendy, Nkoulou), morale is at minimum levels since the club is up for sale, and it is rumored the current owner doesn’t want to cover future expense with Marseille.
Lille seem to be the only ones who found proper replacements for the lost players. Creative midfielder Martin left for Dijon and fullback Sidibe transferred at Monaco. In exchange, Lille brought-in fullback Palmieri from Bastia and midfielder Sankhare from Guingamp. Palmieri and Sankhare are way more involved in the game, and used to play a major role in the offensive phase at the previous clubs. Overall Lille were pretty solid last season, only upfront they lacked creativity and had problems scoring goals. This can change now with the arrival of Sankhare and Palmieri. Lille have the chance to make a good season, and even finish top 3, in case Lyon or Monaco will have problems with injuries. At 12.00, the odds for Lille to finish top 3 surely deserve some attention..
Newly promoted Metz can also make a decent season, especially since they clearly strengthen this summer. Many experienced players arrived (midfielder Cohade from St Etienne, striker Erding from Rennes, winger Jouffre from Lorient, talented striker Nguette from Valenciennes, hard working fullback Signorino from Reims) and Metz can easily avoid relegation if these players accommodate and learn to play together.
In the lower half of the table, one of the teams that lost considerable strength is Guingamp. Key central midfielders Sankhare and Mathis left the club, same as keeper Lossl who made miracles last season, and was one of the reasons Guingamp didn’t had any relegation woes. They still have experienced striker Briand, but it will be extremely difficult without Sankhare’s help. Guingamp to relegate at around 5.00 is surely worth a shot.