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Friday Night in Ligue 1 – what to look forward to

Bastia vs PSG (19:00 GMT)

Bastia face a tough challenge in their opening Ligue 1 match of the season as they face champions PSG at the Stade Armand Cesari. The hosts managed a top half finish last season, showing a vast improvement in form once Francois Ciccolini took over in January. The manager will now be hoping that momentum continues into the new campaign.

PSG, meanwhile, will be looking to maintain their dominance in French football, albeit with a slightly different look to last season. All eyes will be on new head coach Unai Emery after he replaced Laurent Blanc in the summer, whilst the champions will also have to adapt to the lack of talisman and goal-machine Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front, following his move to Manchester United. Nevertheless, PSG remain clear favourites to run away with the league and anything less than a win here would be a surprise.

In the corresponding fixture last season, PSG won 2-0.

Monaco vs Guingamp (19:30 GMT)

Monaco start their new campaign by welcoming Guingamp to the Stade Louis II. The hosts ended last season, for the second year in a row, in third place, but will be hoping for a better start to the campaign than last year’s dreadful attempt. Monaco spent pretty much the entire first half of the season in the bottom half due to their stuttering start, which ultimately cost them an automatic place in the Champions League group stage.

Guingamp will also be hoping for better results this year, under the leadership of new manager Antoine Kombouare. The visitors barely avoided relegation in May, so anything other than a protracted fight against relegation will constitute progress for Guingamp this season.

In the corresponding fixture last season, Monaco beat Guingamp 3-2.
R.B.

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