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Rich 8th Aug 2013 - 15:04

PSG dominance set to continue in Ligue 1 - Betting Preview

Whether a football hipster or Francophile, this is the season to be watching Ligue 1. With PSG and Monaco bound to delight the neutral with a host of world class stars. The title chase may go down to the bitter end, as the Paris club look to defend the championship they won last season for the first time in almost two decades.

Les Rouge-et-Bleu possess an explosive mix of flair, youth, experience and aggression, all of which combined in their successful campaign last season, but with youngsters Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot expected to see more game time this season, the pair could emerge as leading young stars. As expected, they are 1/3 favourites to retain the title.

However it is up front where PSG will be the most exciting to watch. The signing of Edinson Cavani heralds the ambitions of this club to compete on a continental front (PSG are 16/1 to win the Champions League, whilst Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi are expected to add their usual blend of finesse and success in front of goal. Of the three, Cavani and Ibra are joint-second favourites to take the Ligue 1 Golden Boot, both priced at 9/4, whilst Lavezzi is worth an each way look at 33/1 (1/5 odds, 1-3).

After a rather remarkable summer of signings, Monaco has been transformed from a floundering mess in Ligue 2 to the de facto second favourites to claim the French crown. At 5/2, they are scant value, especially given PSG's array of talent, yet it is tough to argue against a team that boasts the likes of Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez, and Joao Moutinho.  Whilst that trio should see Monaco do well in front of goal, it is fellow new arrival, and club vice-captain, Jeremy Toulalan that could play a key role in the team's potential success.

With PSG and Monaco both odds on to finish in the top three, it looks to be Lyon and Marseille fighting it out for that prized third spot. With a Champions League place up for grabs, the pair are priced at 2/1 to take it, whilst St Etienne look to be worth a bet at 9/1.

Last season's Coupe de la Ligue winners may have lost their most prized possession in Pierre-Emmerick Aubameyang over the summer, but with a squad that is still stacked, St Etienne could be one to watch this season.

Whilst a host of clubs are destined to scrap for dignity in the mid-table, most will be happy to avoid a potential dog fight for safety. Joining Monaco from Ligue 2 are Guingamp and Nantes, both of whom top the relegation market. Nantes are slightly odds-on at 10/11, but many will agree that their fate is already all but sealed, and as such represent small value. Guingamp are also priced at 10/11, but should mount a stronger challenge against their relegation rivals.

Worth a look are Ajaccio at 13/8, who are likely to rely on the goals of Adrian Mutu, yet the Romanian has rarely proven to be reliable. An outside shot to face the toils of a scrap for survival are Valenciennes at 6/1, with that worth of a small bet.

Top Tip: Nantes - Bottom Three Finish: 10/11

Worth a Look: Eden Ben Basat e/w - Top Goalscorer: 50/1



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