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PSG to open title defence at Montpellier

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 13 Jun 2013

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Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain will visit Montpellier on the first weekend of the 2013-14 season after the fixtures were released.

The Parisian giants were handed a tough fixture to start their title defence, which begins on the weekend of August 10, with Montpellier the 2011-12 champions.

In each of the last three Ligue 1 seasons, the title holder has failed to win their first match, and PSG will be looking to break that hoodoo at Stade de la Mosson.

Another much-anticipated fixture of the first weekend will see big-spending Monaco on the road to Bordeaux.

Monaco – who have already spent more than 125 million euros in the off-season securing the likes of Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho – were only promoted from Ligue 2 last term.

Their first top-flight match since 2011 will be at Stade Chaban-Delmas, and more signings are expected before Claudio Ranieri’s side begin their league campaign.

Newly-promoted Guingamp will play Marseille, while Lyon welcome the visit of Nice and Lille host Lorient on the first weekend of the season.

Saint-Etienne will look to reverse their dreadful history in starting their campaign, with the club having won just one of their last 21 season-opening fixtures, losing 11 of them.

They start the season with a visit to Ajaccio, while other first-round fixtures see Evian TG take on Sochaux, Ligue 1 newcomers Nantes battle Bastia, Rennes take on Reims and Toulouse travel to Valenciennes.

Other highlights of the fixture list will see PSG host Monaco on the weekend of September 21, with the return leg in early February.

Monaco are tipped to be PSG’s biggest challenger in the title race this season.

PSG face rivals Marseille in the first ‘Classique’ of the season on the weekend of October 5, with the reverse fixture to be held in the first weekend of March.

The Rhone derby between Saint-Etienne and Lyon will be first held on the weekend of November 9, with the former to host.

PSG have been scheduled to host Ajaccio in the second week of the season, but have requested to play their first three matches away from home to finish ongoing renovations at the Parc des Princes.

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