France’s clubs aspire to compete with Paris


The French League was the only tournament that was canceled among the five major European football leagues last season, as French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced at the time that it was “difficult to resume matches” in light of the Corona crisis. Thus, the League’s Board of Directors determined the final standings, based on the criterion of percentage of points for each match played in the league, to crown Paris Saint-Germain as champions for the 2019-2020 season. After 167 days, the league is back again, and it is largely going to face the same routine at the champion level, except that it will see some movement at the level of the standings.The strength of the Parisians was evident last season, after they dominated the local titles and reached the Champions League final, and the team’s strength this season will increase some expected deals, especially in the midfield. The club has preserved most of its elements, and is in the process of abandoning captain Thiago Silva only with the presence of suitable alternatives on the bench, which makes him a great candidate for the crowning of the league as is the norm.
Away from the “postulates”, the French League this season is witnessing some technical and administrative movements that began its features at the beginning of the summer, and perhaps the most prominent of which is the public presence. According to the Guardian newspaper, the “League 1” is heading to be the only league in Europe that will allow the attendance of the masses, as the authorities allowed about 5,000 fans to attend every match, to wear masks, and to sit at separate distances. A great risk from the Union, its first repercussions appeared in the opening match between Saint-Etienne and Marseille, which was postponed after positive cases appeared in the latter’s ranks.
What is also striking about this season is the return of Lens, which will play in the French Premier League for the first time in five years. It was clear how brilliant the team was in the second division, after signing with most of the emerging talent there. The team is ready for the first division, and that was evident in the big game that it played against Nice, despite losing it late (2-1). The club has signed with player Gail Kakuta to add experience, while the team includes some players who may soon be on the radar of major European clubs, such as midfield Sheikh Ducuri and young defender Loic Badi.
On the other hand, Monaco is one of the most prominent teams that will be under scrutiny this season as well, as it seeks to return to the top with former Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac. Monaco has witnessed one of the strangest administrative decisions in recent years. After an exceptional season with coach Leonardo Jardim in 2017, during which the team won the league and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League, the team collapsed completely after selling the stars without adequate compensation, so Jardim was sacked, and replaced by Thierry Henry, then Jardim, Robert Moreno, until Kovac came.
What was strange in the summer, former coach Roberto Moreno was sacked after just 12 games at the head of the technical bar for the Principality team. Despite the promising system presented by the Spanish coach, given the circumstances, the new sports director Paul Mitchell decided to sign with Kovac, due to his ability to create a team that fits the French League more in terms of playing style and physical equipment. The emirate’s team is in the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase, and this year it aspires to reach a qualified seat in the Champions League, at least.

Eyes will also be on Lyon

Eyes will also be on the Lyon side, who finished seventh last season. The French team was aspiring to European participation this season from the gates of the Champions League, but it lost in the semi-finals to Bayern Munich.
The team is in the rebuilding phase, where many players will be sold in an attempt to compensate for the losses caused by the Corona virus and the European absence, in order to comply with the rules of fair financial play. Memphis Depay, Moussa Dembele and Hussam Awar will likely be sold if good offers arrive. On the other hand, the sporting director of the team, Juninho, may compensate the departing players with the children of the Academy, which in past seasons graduated the best talents in the world. The decision will be in the hands of coach Rudi Garcia if he wants to transfer talent to the first team, as the backs Melvin Bard, promising striker Ryan Shirky (17) and midfield striker Kakoret stand out from the academy.
Lyon is not the only club with young talent, as the French League has emerged since the Monaco-Jardim era as the most popular league for talent in Europe. Eyes fall this season on young Lorient’s striker Enzo Lu in Angers back, Ryan It-Nuri, winger Lille Issac Lihadji, Nice forward Amine Gueri and Saint-Etienne player Adil Ouicishi.
To complete the first round, today a match will be played between Rennes and Montpellier (18:00 Beirut time) and another between Strasbourg and Nice (22:00 Beirut time). It is a season of challenges for everyone who may smile at the Parisians again given their readiness compared to the rest.

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