The new Ligue 1 season starts this weekend and it promises to be unprecedented. The championship will be spread over ten months, with a calendar cut by the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. At the end of 38 days, four teams will be relegated to Ligue 2.
An extended championship. Ligue 1 will continue as usual during the 2022-2023 edition, which starts this Friday with OL-Ajaccio at the Groupama Stadium (9 pm). The 38 scheduled days are unique to be played in ten months, from August 5 to June 3. The error of a calendar cut by the 2022 World Cup. For the first time in history, the most famous football competition will take place during the winter, to avoid the high heat of summer in Qatar.
So Ligue 1 will take a month and a half break to allow the best countries on the planet to compete in the Persian Gulf. The World Cup starts on November 21 with four posters: Senegal-Netherlands, England-Iran, Qatar-Ecuador, United States-Wales. Les Bleus will face Australia, Denmark and Tunisia in the group stage. The tournament ends on December 18 with the final scheduled for Lusail, about fifteen kilometers north of Doha.
Only one week of preparation before the World Cup
The dates that will force the French international championships to chain matches at high speed, and even more so for clubs involved in Europe since the first rounds of European competitions that lasted until the middle of December will be completed without a load. in November. The 15th day of L1 will be played from November 11 to 13, mainly Monaco-OM, OL-Nice or PSG-Auxerre. It’s a big week before the hostilities begin in Qatar. Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Aaron Ramsey, Jonathan David or Arkadiusz Milik have just a few days to exchange their club jersey for the one of their choice.
On the contrary, players who are not worried about the World Cup (the majority) should stay in shape during these six weeks without an official game. Trying not to lose rhythm. Clubs are anticipating this long, unprecedented break by adjusting their preparation schedule. With the goal of remaining efficient over time.
The fear of harm
After the World Cup, Ligue 1 will continue in the middle of the week, on December 27 and 28, with particular PSG-Strasbourg and OM-Toulouse for a day of boxing in France, ten days after the Lusail final. In fact there are not many internationals, who should benefit from a period of rest, depending on their competitive career. The condition of the stars’ form in the crampons should also be closely monitored in the second half of the championship, because there is no winter break. Hoping to avoid fatigue-related injuries, especially since PSG and high-ranking teams will be involved in the European Cup at the same time (Champions League, Europa League or Conference League).
“Clubs do not have many options, they have the obligation to start the championship well, even more so for clubs with a small margin, explained for RMC, Alexandre Marles, former coach of the Blues, PSG and OL . You have to get the points very quickly. More after the World Cup that attracted me. Going to Qatar, playing in a hot atmosphere, that’s not a problem. They will play in the heat, more and more coming back, finding hard ground, the cold, more difficulties in preparation and recovery.
Four teams were relegated to L2
To add a little spice to this Ligue 1 season like no other, the race for promotion seems tougher than ever. This 2022-2023 financial year will be the last with twenty teams involved. At the end of the championship, four clubs will be transferred directly to Ligue 2 next spring (and two more will move from the second division), to find the table of eighteen teams from the 2023-2024 edition . What can be expected is a fierce encounter between the less good students, who must fight to the end to keep their place among the elite.