2020 is a crazy year. This is the year that has seen us confined to our house, working from home and also all the sporting events being cancelled. Due to this many football leagues ether finished the season, or only recently saw the leagues resume in a bubble structure. The French Ligue 1 was also cancelled and only recently the title was awarded to PSG… for the third time in a row. This has not stopped the league from giving us some other binge worthy moments.
Let us take Rennes for example, the team managed to rank quite high in their respective league and managed to secure a place in next year’s Champions League. Marseille also managed to secure a spot following a 6 year spell that saw them out of the league. Unfortunately Lyon did not save a spot this time around with a non qualifying position. Also this year, both Amiens and Toulouse did not do so well and have been relegated to Ligue 2. On the other hand both Lens and Lorient secured a spot in Ligue 1.
With France topping some high coronavirus figures, the Ligue 1still went ahead last weekend. The original kick off to the league that was planned for Marseille vs. St- Etienne was postpone at first, however the season did indeed kick off on Saturday 22md August.
In this post, I take a look at the main outright markets for the 2020/21 Ligue 1 season. I assess the odds for the title race, top three, and relegation battle before sharing my prediction and betting pick for each market
Who will take the win this season? Can PSG secure a 4th win?
Just before the season kicked off, many bookies were already taking bets on who will be the winner. The odds for the 2020/ 2021 are currently as follows:
- PSG – 1.10
- Lyon – 26.00
- Marseille – 31.00
- Lille – 51.00
- Monaco – 51.00
- Rennes – 51.00
PSG have gained ample popularity lately and the Paris based French team are already fan and bookie favourites. Having said that, will others stand a chance at taking the title and raising the cup?
If we take a closer look at Marseille, the team is doing quite well. In Fact the team managed to make it to the second spot of the league. Other teams are also worth a mention. Let’s take Lyon for example, the team worked hard and managed to make a name for themselves in the Champions League. But are they good enough to win the French competition?
There are some teams that are not worth mentioning in terms of reaching top ranks of the team, so let’s have a closer look at the ones that will leave their mark, and create a legacy in the process.
One of the biggest teams in the France league is indeed PSG. Many can argue that if the league was not stopped, PSG might not have taken the title home. However let put the facts on the table, PSG had a good run and managed to deliver a great season.
PSG is powered by Thomas Tuchel, a powerhouse and also labelled as the next Jurgen Klopp. When the season was halted, PSG was already 12 points ahead of everyone else, this means 3 wins ahead of every other team in the league. PSG secured 22 wins from a total of 27, that translates into a great season for the Paris team. And the cherry on the cake? They also had a 51+ goal difference compared to the other teams.
If we look at PSG’s track record, they have secured the last 3 titles and also won 7 out of the last 8 leagues. So is it safe to say that PSG are a hard competition and also contenders to take the 2020 / 2021 league home? Well, the team is overflowing with stellar talent, and tier combined talent will play a big part in PSG’s success for the upcoming season. Icardi, Mbappe and even Sarabia are all geared up for a new season. A let’s be frank, they will win the league this year also., as the French league is not as volatile as the English league, and more close to the Italian league where only 2 to 3 teams are the actual competition and contenders.
Lyon might have suffered a pitiful fate last season with only securing a seventh place stint, however the team is still ranked the second favourite to take the title this year. From Lyon’s track record, we can safely say that the team has always had a great run. We are confident that the team will have better odds as the league progresses. But is this enough to snatch the title from PSG? Lyon have never recorded a worse score than last season. The last time they performed so badly in a leave was 23 years ago. Unfortunately, this has cost them the Champions League this time around. Yet, their main focus will definitely be on the Ligue 1 title, and all of their efforts will be targeted towards winning the French league with no midweek Champions League games to play. Let’s remember that Lyon did knock out Manchester City at the quarter finals, so they are a force to be reckoned with afterall.
Marseille had a great season and managed to finish second in the league. A spot that they had not secured since the 2012/ 2013 league. The team has always done relatively well under the supervision of Andre Villa Boas the ex Spur boss. Marseille had secured a 6 point lead of the 3rd place contenders Rennes when the league was interrupted. The only hardship they faced this season is of course PSG. Will they clap back and try to secure pole position this time around?
The team has the potential to be as good as PSG. Lest we forget that Villa Boas has made a massive impact on the team within a short span of time. The team is composed of some of the best and most prominent youth talent around and other renowned players include Dimitri Payet, Steve Mandanda, Maxime Lopez and Kamara. The odds and potentially the football gods are not as in favour of them winning as much as PSG is. But it is still early days, we just would need to wait and see.
Who will finish Top Three?
If you follow French football, it is a known fact that PSG will most probably take the title home, so who will secure the highest ranks following that? Let’s have a look at some of the odds currently circulating:
- Lyon – 1.75
- Marseille – 2.60
- Monaco – 3.25
- Lille – 3.75
- Rennes – 5.00
- Nice – 6.00
Monaco might excel in many departments, but when it comes to football, they are just not that great. During 201/2015 they did manage to have great finishes and even took home a title for the 2017/ 2018 league. However last season, they only secured a ninth position.
What or who is to blame? The club did sell some of their best talent to other big teams. Mbappe is now wearing the PSG cap, Fabinho has won the league with Liverpool, Silva has joined Manchester City and upcoming star Tielmans is now a Leicester player. Monaco’s downfall unfortunately is their own doing, and this could lead them to being relegated. Sad, but oh so very true. When it comes to scoring goals, Monaco’s attacking side is quite ok, however the defense is quite poor and this has resulted in the team losing one game after another. Will their new manager Novac be able to turn things around. We need to wait and see!
The last few years and leagues have been a trying period for Lille with fans claiming the team is quite inconsistent. During the 2017/2018 league the teams almost got relegated, but then managed to secure the second place spot the following season.
What will it take for Lille to secure the top three this time around? For starters, they would need to keep some of their stars. Striker Viktor Osimhen has now signed up at Napoli, so some key players would need to be persuaded to stay if Lille intends to go all in this time around. Ikone, Daid and also Soumare should be given bigger contracts to keep them onboard. Also the Lille talent scouts would need to pull all the strings to attract new talent.
The loss of Osimhen has sent shockwaves through the team. After All in all his 27 played matches, he did score 13 solid goals. If Lille wants to be taken seriously, they need to sign up a top talent, a striker with potential and enough stamina to lift the team morale.
Is Rennes being regarded as the next PSG? The team did manage a good position after all with just 1 point ahead of Lilles. The opening match of the season saw Rennes faces Lilles and managed a 1 point each with a 1-1 draw. One of the biggest highlights for Rennes is indeed the great defense that they have, which could easily be regarded as great as PSG’s defense. The team has a solid backend and could easily amaze us in the current season. As the whole team has promised ‘the best is yet to come’. So what will it take for them to keep a great track record? For starters they need to score goals, many goals to be precise, and also keep consistency going. M’Baye Niag and Adrien Hynou, if you are reading this, the team’s future lies in your hands.
This is the third season that the ex Juve and ex Arsenal manager is hoping to lead Nice to victory. Vieira has significantly helped Nice raise their football skills and track record. After all, he did raise the world cup for France in 2018, after securing a win against Croatia. The first year with the world cup winner saw Nice secure the 7th position, followed by the 5th position the following year. What will happen in his 3rd year with the team?
We envisage that Nice will continue going from strength to strength in the Ligue 1, and with some good signings coupled with great motivation, the team could make it to the top 3 spots.
As we look back at the season. Nice have found a powerhouse in Kasper Dolberg, a young upcoming star that scored a whopping 11 goals and assisted in many other great assists for his fellow players. Another player signing to lookout for is Morgan Scheneiderlin who joins from Everton. These 2 key players will be the key and secret weapons that Nice win to leave a mark this time around.
Let’s discuss the elephant in the room: Relegation
A new team that joins from Ligue 2 to Ligue 1 has a lot to celebrate, but at the same time, they also have a lot of work to do. The task: Avoid Relegation. So what are the odds of who will be relegated during this current 2020 / 2021?
- Dijon – 3.00
- Nimes – 3.00
- Lens – 4.00
- Lorient – 4.00
- Metz – 4.00
- Brest – 5.00
The above times and the odds of relegation are quite straightforward. Some teams like Dijon might have given an outlandish performance last season. So will this cost them to get relegated during this current league and season? Other teams like the Metz, Lens and Lorient all have odds standing at 4.00, so their job is to compete well against one another this season. As for the Brest …oh well …the bookies all feel they will get the chop this season. Do they have enough motivation and stamina to fight off this stigma and reign supreme?
Dijon have always been the talk of every French Ligue, and they have fought relegation threats since they joined the Ligue 1 in 2016. However as we stand before you today, they have survived 3 seasons and fought hard for their spot.
Dijon have always stayed closer to the bottom of the league as opposed to the top, and they have consistently danced their way to bottom 5 in the seasons that they have been in Ligue 1. Whilst other leagues would have sacked boss Stephane Jobard, the team still has fate that he can turn things around and lead the team to at least the middle spot of the league. Having said that, Jobard needs the backup of a solid attack, and signing some new additions would be key for Dijon to stay afloat and make it.
What does Nimes need to secure a spot in Ligue 1 and not get relegated. We have to say consistency and motivation. When Nimes joined the Ligue 1 again, they managed to get a half decent spot secure in middle tier ranking. However last season did not see Nimes shine at all. Prior to Covid-19 changing the world as we know it, Nimes were playing with fire and were in a serious spot of getting relegated (only 4 points saved them!).
One could argue that Nimes missed out of 10 games last season. So what is needed this year is focus, and all players have the same wit, stamina, nerve and talent to go all in for the win. New boss Jerome Arpinon has a tough job, and we are here to witness it all.
A newcomer to the Ligue 1 is Lens. The team has cheered and joined the league once again after a 5 year absence, but now it is time to roll their sleeves and get to work. Afterall, all newcomers have the stigma of potentially losing their spot once again.
Players that joined the Ligue 1 were only points away from others that did not join. Other teams that fell off the grid were also just a matter of points away. So the biggest challenge that Lens have is to stay eyes on the price, stay afloat and keep afloat.
Haise’s players have new additions to celebrate. Seko Fofana was secured from Udinese via a 10 million deal, and Ignatius Ganago joined from Nice via a 6 million deal.
We wish Lens a great season. It is always great to witness an underdog story turning into greatness.
Lorient is not a newcomer to the Ligue 1 and has spent many years juggling between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. This time around, Lorient will be celebrating football via a secured spot in the Ligue 1 position, with a goal of keeping the momentum and the good footie.
Lorient, or as they are better known as Les Merlus, has managed to secure the top spot in the Ligue 2, during the last season, but do they have what it takes to play with the big dogs that dominate Ligue 1? Well, the team did score the most goals in the Ligue 2 along with having a formidable defense set up that only some teams can ever dream of having.
Some key figures to lookout for this season are Adrian Grbic who joins from Clermont. The young player scored a sensational 17 goals last season and also played a key role in 4 assists. Question is: Will Grbic ensure the stress that a Ligue 1 brings with it? Lorient’s survival rate lies in Grbic’s hands along with possible future signings.
Unfortunately, the Metz never had a great track record and only managed to secure wins in just 3 out of the 2019. 2020 season. The team then managed to turn the table and secure 5 victories out of the 9 games they played after that. The latter helped the team secure their spot in the Ligue 1. However, talk of relegation is still looming around the Mets.
The Metz are not new to the world of relegation and have already found themselves relegated twice in the last 6 seasons and 4 times in the last 15. So, did the Metz learn their lesson? They had an okish season for 2019/2020, will they step it up for 2020/2021?
The talk of the Ligue 1 is undoubtedly Brest. The team had a C level ranking this past season and managed to have a 11 points lead, helping them avoid relegation. Can the team keep up the momentum? New season in football brings new hope, and this time around Brest needs to fight hard, as hard as they can to secure their Ligue 1 spot and keep afloat. Yoann Court was one of the key players that kept Brest in Ligue 1 last season, will he have as good a season as he had last year?
The battle between Nimes and Brest keeps staggering and will see either or relegated this time around. Who will reign? Who will be off the charts, and who will you place your bets on?
PSG will win yet another title home, at least that is what the bookies say. But let that not fool you dear gambler. Let us not forget that in 2016 the British Premier League was won by an underdog: Leicester City FC. All the odds were on either Liverpool or Manchester City… but Leicester made it to the top.
Who will have the guts, the stamina and the drive to beat PSG? In gambling, never say never. If you feel a younger team might win, go for it and you too will win big and take home the moolah!