Assessing Ligue 1 clubs in Europe this Season

Six Ligue 1 clubs are gunning for European glory this season in the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League.

While Paris Saint-Germain is desperate to lift the European Cup, Lens, Marseille, Toulouse, Rennes and Lille will also be competing for supremacy on the continent. Fans will be watching the matches intently and assessing the odds Champions League and more when backing their clubs in Europe.

This article will profile the teams as they look to get out of their groups to reach the knockout stages.

Can PSG finally win the Champions League?

Having won the Ligue 1 title nine times in eleven seasons, the French giants annually head into Europe’s premier competition as one of the favourites yet the trophy continues to elude the club.

Though they failed to win the tournament with Lionel Messi, you can never write off a team featuring Kylian Mbappe and so PSG will be hoping they have what it takes to go the distance in this season’s competition.

If they do, they will have overcome some difficult hurdles. In a group with Dortmund, Milan and Newcastle, who gatecrashed the Premier League top four after expertly recruiting following fresh investment, PSG made the perfect start with a 2-0 win over BVB.

Lens, meanwhile, have previous Champions League pedigree having competed in 1998/99 and 2002/03 though the club spent much of the last 15 years in France’s second tier.

Now back on track after finishing second in Ligue 1, they drew with Sevilla in their opening game of Group B which also features Arsenal, who they faced in 1998, and PSV Eindhoven.

Can Marseille go all the way?

Marseille finished in the Champions League places in the table come May but lost the qualifier with Greek side Panathinaikos on penalties.

Dropping into the Europa League, the Phocaeans are in a difficult group with Ajax, who they drew with 3-3 in the Netherlands, Brighton, who are flying in the Premier League, and AEK Athens.

Having signed Illman Ndiaye from Sheffield United, left-back Renan Lodi and experienced duo Geoffrey Kondogbia and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, one of the top forwards in Europe during the last decade this summer, they are currently regrouping following the departure of manager Marcelino.

Toulouse, meanwhile, qualified for the Europa League despite finishing 13th in Ligue 1 after lifting the Coupe de France last season.

Defeating Nantes in the final was the first time the club had won the competition. Rewarded with a place in Europe, the Violets were drawn in the same group as Liverpool, Austria’s LASK Linz and Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise who they drew with in the opening group game.

Rennes currently top Group F after claiming a 3-0 victory over Maccabi Haifa. Taking the lead after just a minute against the side from Israel, the Red and Blacks, recorded 24 shots to kick off their Europa League campaign in style.

It was a solid start in a group that also includes Panathinaikos, Marseille’s victors during the summer, and Spanish side Villarreal, regulars in European competition this century.

Lille Wins in the Conference League Opener

Lille pipped PSG to the Ligue 1 title in 2021 to claim their fourth French championship and the next season competed in the Champions League, reaching the last 16 where they lost to Chelsea.

In 2022/23, they finished 5th, 18 points off top spot and so this year had to settle for a place in the Conference League. However, the competition presented Lille with a genuine chance of lifting silverware and they began their campaign with a 2-0 victory over Olimpija of Slovenia. 

They will next face Slovan Bratislava and Klaksvikar of the Faroe Islands and should have enough quality in the ranks to progress.

Overall, it is sure to be an exciting season as Ligue 1’s top clubs compete with the best sides in Europe.

Six Ligue 1 clubs are gunning for European glory this season in the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League.

While Paris Saint-Germain is desperate to lift the European Cup, Lens, Marseille, Toulouse, Rennes and Lille will also be competing for supremacy on the continent. Fans will be watching the matches intently and assessing the odds Champions League and more when backing their clubs in Europe.

This article will profile the teams as they look to get out of their groups to reach the knockout stages.

Can PSG finally win the Champions League?

Having won the Ligue 1 title nine times in eleven seasons, the French giants annually head into Europe’s premier competition as one of the favorites yet the trophy continues to elude the club.

Though they failed to win the tournament with Lionel Messi, you can never write off a team featuring Kylian Mbappe and so PSG will be hoping they have what it takes to go the distance in this season’s competition.

If they do, they will have overcome some difficult hurdles. In a group with Dortmund, Milan and Newcastle, who gatecrashed the Premier League top four after expertly recruiting following fresh investment, PSG made the perfect start with a 2-0 win over BVB.

Lens, meanwhile, have previous Champions League pedigree having competed in 1998/99 and 2002/03 though the club spent much of the last 15 years in France’s second tier.

Now back on track after finishing second in Ligue 1, they drew with Sevilla in their opening game of Group B which also features Arsenal, who they faced in 1998, and PSV Eindhoven.

Can Marseille go all the way?

Marseille finished in the Champions League places in the table come May but lost the qualifier with Greek side Panathinaikos on penalties.

Dropping into the Europa League, the Phocaeans are in a difficult group with Ajax, who they drew with 3-3 in the Netherlands, Brighton, who are flying in the Premier League, and AEK Athens.

Having signed Illman Ndiaye from Sheffield United, left-back Renan Lodi and experienced duo Geoffrey Kondogbia and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, one of the top forwards in Europe during the last decade this summer, they are currently regrouping following the departure of manager Marcelino.

Toulouse, meanwhile, qualified for the Europa League despite finishing 13th in Ligue 1 after lifting the Coupe de France last season.

Defeating Nantes in the final was the first time the club had won the competition. Rewarded with a place in Europe, the Violets were drawn in the same group as Liverpool, Austria’s LASK Linz and Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise who they drew with in the opening group game.

Rennes currently top Group F after claiming a 3-0 victory over Maccabi Haifa. Taking the lead after just a minute against the side from Israel, the Red and Blacks, recorded 24 shots to kick off their Europa League campaign in style.

It was a solid start in a group that also includes Panathinaikos, Marseille’s victors during the summer, and Spanish side Villarreal, regulars in European competition this century.

Lille Wins in the Conference League Opener

Lille pipped PSG to the Ligue 1 title in 2021 to claim their fourth French championship and the next season competed in the Champions League, reaching the last 16 where they lost to Chelsea.

In 2022/23, they finished 5th, 18 points off top spot and so this year had to settle for a place in the Conference League. However, the competition presented Lille with a genuine chance of lifting silverware and they began their campaign with a 2-0 victory over Olimpija of Slovenia. 

They will next face Slovan Bratislava and Klaksvikar of the Faroe Islands and should have enough quality in the ranks to progress.

Overall, it is sure to be an exciting season as Ligue 1’s top clubs compete with the best sides in Europe.

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