Mbappé’s records, the fight for the podium … the 9 challenges to watch this season

The 2022-2023 Ligue 1 campaign starts this Friday with OL-Ajaccio as the inaugural match and ends on the weekend of June 3 and 4, 2023. Ahead of the resumption, RMC Sport has made its wish list for the future is particularly exciting.

An incredible battle for the podium and Europe

The arrival of Christophe Galtier on the PSG bench did not change the situation: the Ile-de-France club was still (and still is) the big favorite for the title of Ligue 1. With the arrival of Vitinha, Nordi Mukiele and in the meantime Renato Sanches, Paris is still the biggest cost of the French championship. But in the background, the competition has also increased. Enough to give a fierce race for the podium and places in Europe.

Without being crazy, the elite clubs tried to make moves during the transfer season. Monaco bet on the Minamino-Embolo duo to find the Champions League. On the Marseille side, in addition to the continuation of Milik, Pabo Longoria increased the arrivals to look good this season. Ditto at Lyon where the acquisition of John Textor confirms ambitions for the future.

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To these four teams, logical candidates for the podium, we must also add Rennes and Lens. The Bretons bet on strength with Bruno Genesio while the Eagles bring back Lucien Favre. Qualified respectively for the Europa League and the Conference League this season, Stade Rennais and the Riviera club will try to do even better.

Quite simply, at least seven teams have made qualification for the Champions League a goal or a dream in 2022-2023. There will certainly be disappointed but for the fans, it is good for a unique view of Ligue 1.

The season of all records for Mbappé?

The 2021-2022 financial year will be Kylian Mbappé’s last at PSG and in Ligue 1. Almost a year ago, it seemed unthinkable to see the striker extend to Paris when Real Madrid did so priority. . After months of waiting, fear and uncertainty, the tricolor prodigy finally chose to stay. Good for PSG and especially good for L1.

Top scorer and best passer last season, the striker can afford some PSG records. With only 19 goals behind Edinson Cavani (119 against 138 for the Uruguayan) in Ligue 1, Kylian Mbappé is sure to be the club’s top scorer in the competition.

The greatest scorer in the top flight but perhaps PSG’s highest scorer. With 171 achievements in Paris, Kylian Mbappé is now 31 points behind Edinson Cavani. With a new dream season, the 2018 world champion is in danger of erasing the Matador mark.

Among other prestigious records that the boy from Bondy can aim for during the campaign of 2022-2023, Kylian Mbappé can afford a Zlatan Ibrahimovic. With 33 games with more than one goal scored in Ligue 1, the Swedish giant is currently ahead of Kylian Mbappé for four doubles, triplets or quadruplets (29 for the Frenchman). So at least five meetings with more than one goal are enough to become the only record holder in the league.

However, some records seem more complicated to achieve. Even for a player of Kylian Mbappé’s talent. He needs incredible kills against opposing cages to match or exceed the 38 goals scored in one L1 season by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2015-2016) with PSG. Ditto for the French championship record in this regard, a reference established by Marseillais Josip Skoblar in 1970-1971 with 44 achievements. Beautiful individual goals for a Kylian Mbappé determined to make an impression.

OM, confirmation or implosion

Jorge Sampaoli resigned, Igor Tudor came to the Marseille bench during the offseason. But after a slow preparation on the ground and tensions among many executives in the locker room, the Croatian coach seems to be on the hot seat.

President Pablo Longoria may have remembered his confidence in him, OM has already offered themselves a crisis even before the first day of Ligue 1.

Second last year and qualified for the Champions League pools, Marseille should also do well on the European scene. Problem is, it hurts the league’s performance if the workers fail to follow up. All the more reason to recruit to be able to play on both counts. New problem, and new twist to follow in the Marseille series, supporters attack players even before they join the team like Jordan Veretout.

For all these sporting and non-sporting reasons, Marseille remains a special team in Ligue 1. And inevitably, when the season starts so fast, we look forward to the next Olympian stage soap opera.

Will these stars rise again?

Football fans often complain about seeing stars leave Ligue 1. Of course, big talents like Aurélien Tchouaméni left. But the elite clubs also strengthen themselves with famous players.

OL brought back two Baby Gones with Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso, Monaco convinced Japanese Takumi Minamino to leave Liverpool for Bato.

Ditto for Aaron Ramsey and Kasper Schmeichel at Nice. The former Arsenal playmaker left Juventus to sign for the South of France. After eleven years at Leicester, the Danish goalkeeper also decided to face the challenge of INEOS with Lucien Favre’s Eagles.

After a complicated year at Rennes, Alfred Gomis seems to have had his day. However, the Breton club offered a great project to Steve Mandanda. Banned by OM, who can welcome the Chilean Alexis Sanchez, the 37-year-old goalkeeper will try to shine at Roazhon Park. Arriving from Watford, Moussa Sissoko had the right to a beautiful last stand at Nantes, nine years after he left England.

Will OL come back?

Taken in Europe, the mistake of a disappointing eighth place in 2021-2022, Lyon has no right to make a mistake. By only playing one match a week, unlike their main rivals for the podium, Les Gones have a fresh advantage. Sometimes attractive but always irregular, the team coached by Peter Bosz aroused great enthusiasm for the continuation of Ligue 1. By keeping some youngsters like Caqueret or Gusto and recruiting the famous former Lacazette and Tolisso, the Rhone club has a good squad for the French elite. In quality and in quantity.

With the already announced arrival of John Textor at the head of the team, the American businessman who did not forget to throw shovels at PSG and OM, this OL contains the promise of a performance throughout the championship. The club that is dear to Jean-Michel Aulas should not miss its start of the season. With a good series during the first months of the competition, Lyon clearly have something to scare their opponents. But for now there is only one certainty: it is forbidden to revive the same galley last year.

The first French “Boxing Day”

It’s hard to forget because the meeting is approaching fast. In 2022-2023, Ligue 1 will experience a big break for almost a month due to the World Cup in Qatar (from November 21 to December 18). If the French championship stops only eight days before the start of the World Cup (the 15th day is scheduled for November 13), it will continue ten days after the final in Doha.

Due to the World Cup in Qatar, although not all L1 players will be affected, the traditional winter break will be skipped. However, France will treat itself to its first “Boxing Day” with a championship day scheduled for December 28 and then another for January 1, 2023. If not yet have enough prestige to compete in the Premier League , it is definitely a great attraction during the holiday season.

Finally flashed for the Messi-Neymar duo

In the list of reasons to celebrate before the resumption of Ligue 1, we must also give a small place to Lionel Messi and Neymar. Heavily criticized for his first season in France, the Argentinian will surely want revenge. The best way for him to forget the whistles at the Parc des Princes? Shine with goals and caviar.

His sublime free kick during the Champions Trophy set the tone: Neymar wants to silence his detractors. The author of a good summer preparation, the Brazilian seems to have ants on his legs for recovery.

If he can escape the physical glitches, the former Santos and Barça can once again delight the spectators of the French championship. In a playmaker role in support of Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé, the Auriverde star of PSG can benefit from a creative freedom that will be able to offer some flashes where he has a secret.

A mad struggle to keep up

The race for Europe is causing the scene in Ligue 1. But the fight is for continuity as well. The transfer of 18 clubs in 2023-2024 requires that the LFP has decided to condemn four teams to relegation this season. To avoid emulating Bordeaux, Metz and Saint-Etienne, the elite formation must give everything to avoid falling.

The sporting and financial consequences of a move to Ligue 2 could be detrimental to some teams with a weak balance sheet. When we find out that a fifth of the clubs involved will not continue (4/20) it already promises crazy nights in the championship with a word of caution: woe to the losers!

Peaceful grandstands

Finally, and this is probably more than wishful thinking, Ligue 1 must also show good things in the stands. In 2021-2022, from the first day with the Montpellier-OM storm and until the return of the barrage between ASSE and Auxerre, the incidents of supporters increased. It is hard to forget the brutality of the clash between Nice and Marseille or the Olympico of the bottle thrown in Dimitri Payet’s face.

To avoid experiencing such difficulties with the fans, the LFP as well as the public authorities and the clubs are working to guarantee the security of the stadiums. Get out of plastic bottles, which officially joined the list of prohibited items in the stands.

A reinforced protocol is also planned for high-risk matches with, for example, the obligation of clubs to have anti-projection devices (safety nets) and anti-intrusion devices (grids, plexiglass, barriers, pits), can be removed and activated upon the recommendation of the prefect or the National Division for the Fight against Hooliganism (DNLH).

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