Friday, September 22, 2017

Ligue 1 Preview – Part 2: The Race To Avoid Relegation

Juan Pablo Aravena in Editorial, Ligue 1 31 Aug 2017

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Out of Europe’s five biggest leagues, the French Ligue 1 is the one that started sooner. And with four matches already played in France’s top flight, it is easy to analyse tendencies to see which teams will fight for the league title, and which ones will contend to avoid a potential relegation to Ligue 2 next season.

The sec0nd part of our season preview will take a look at which teams are the main candidates to play in the Ligue 2 next season. There are a few teams that need to pick up the slack as well. A run of bad results at any point during the season can be the difference between staying in the top flight or getting relegated in the final weeks of the campaign.

Without further ado, here are the teams that will likely fight to avoid relegation this season.

Top Candidates To Get Relegated

FC Metz

Metz have been the biggest disappointment in the Ligue 1 season thus far. They are winless through the first four matches, and have only scored once during that span. It is still relatively early in the season, but Metz have looked quite overmatched in most of their games and that does not bode well for their chances to escape relegation.

As of right now, Metz are 8/13 to play in Ligue 2 next season. And if we take their first four games as a benchmark, then things do not look promising.

Amiens

Amiens are in a curious spot, to say the least. They have three points thanks to one win and three defeats, but it seems it is only a matter of time before they get into an extended losing skid. They have the weakest roster in the league by a wide margin, and most of their players lack experience in the league. With the exception of elements such as Mathieu Bodmer, Issa Cissokho and Gael Kakuta, Amiens lack players who are used to the intensity of the division.

The lack of experience could be the deciding factor on Amiens’ chances of surviving their first year in France’s top flight. And considering they are 5/4 to get relegated, they will need to be at their best if they want to avoid an early return to the second division.

Which Teams Need To Improve Soon?

Dijon

Dijon have the second-worst defence in the league with 10 goals conceded in the first four matches. Those struggles on their own need to be fixed as soon as possible, because otherwise then Dijon will have a hard time trying to turn things around. The markets do not fancy that happening, though. After all, Dijon are 13/5 to head down to the Ligue 2 in 2018.

Rennes

Along with FC Metz, Rennes are one of the two teams that are yet to win this season, and currently are 7/1 to get relegated. Those are relatively long odds at the moment. But they might decrease if Rennes do not get on a winning streak soon.

Their main problem is not the one Amiens have, which is the lack of experience. Rennes’ issues are far deeper, because they relate to a lack of talent on both sides of the ball. All signs indicate this will be a long year for them.

Lille

This one is a bit of stretch. I mean – does anyone really think Marcelo Bielsa’s team will get relegated? Honestly, chances are they pick things up sooner than later. But there is no question they did not start the season as many experts predicted.

After impressing during preseason, Lille have not looked nearly as good once the campaign started. And even though they started with a solid 3-0 win over Nantes, they have not won in their past three matches and are coming off a disappointing 1-1 draw against Angers on the road.

Lille have a good team, however, and are 16/1 to finish in the Top 3 this season. That is not out of their reach given the depth of the squad. However, they must perform better after the international break. If not, they could be in line for a disappointing season.

Notable Betting Odds

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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