With the new Ligue 1 season scheduled to start in early August, the odds for the major favorites to win the title are already out at bookies. If you’re a footie fan, there’s probably no doubt in your mind when it comes to the heavy favorite. With 6 titles in the past 7 season, Paris Saint-Germain is the absolute favorite to win Ligue 1 once again. Of course, it will largely depend on the clubs summer transfer plans. The club is in a bit of turmoil right now, with mega-stars such as Neymar and Edinson Cavani possibly on the move. If they leave the club, a debate about who can dethrone the superstar-filled team will surely come alive.
Before the start of the season, most betting sites have PSG a steady favorite at around 1/7. Those odds are a joke, but then again, there’s no one else even close. Olympique Lyonnais is next on the list with odds of 9/1, while Marseille and Monaco are available at 20/1 and 33/1 respectively. Paris Saint-Germain may not be the punter’s favorite, but it’s clear that it’s the major bookie favorite. At those odds, you won’t really win anything in return, so you might want to consider the other options.
The problem is, a glance at PSG’s squad will tell you that it’s equipped to win Ligue 1 in dominant fashion, just like it won last year. And the years before that, of course. The only misstep in PSG’s recent history came in season 16-17 when Monaco surprisingly won the title. Since then, however, the squad has been bolstered by the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, not to mention other football superstars. However, in light of the recent disappointments in the Champions League, PSG’s owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi has announced that the club will stop its spending spree for a while. No big-money moves for PSG, at least for the moment. Then there’s all the controversy surrounding Neymar’s possible move back to Barcelona. The Brazilian star forward is reportedly determined to quit PSG, although the club won’t sell him for less than a fortune.
PSG’s chances for a new Ligue 1 title depend on Neymar and Cavani’s future at the club. Kylian Mbappe has already confirmed he’s staying, so that’s a positive. The kid is a brilliant talent who’ll surely grow into a bona-fide football superstar. He’s got a bright future ahead of him considering the fact that he’s only 20. However, there are doubts if he can lead PSG’s attack on his own – if Neymar and Cavani leave, PSG’s strength will be significantly diminished.
Even without the club’s attacking duo, PSG is still in the lead over others. Instead of making big-money moves, Tomas Tuchel has decided to sign Sevilla ace Pablo Sarabia and also brought in former Manchester United player Ander Herrera on a free transfer. Even if a number of players leave the club, PSG is still in the best position to win Ligue 1.
Not that they’ll find it easy. Olympique Lyonnais has bolstered its squad with Lille’s Thiago Mendes who’s a brilliant player and has added another option in midfield in Flamengo’s hot prospect Jean Lucas. Nabil Fekir is still the team’s captain, and if he stays, you can expect Lyon to be a tough nut to crack
Marseille and Monaco are below Lyon on the list of favorites. Although Marseille’s moves on the market don’t really promise a lot, expect Monaco to bounce back after a terrible season last year. Monaco has a solid squad that can challenge PSG for the title if the team plays to the best of its abilities. At worst, the club should qualify for the Champions League this year.
So, to answer the question, no, we don’t really believe that other teams may push PSG to the brink as things stand now. With a few quality signings, though, things may change in the nick of time.