Strategies

Favourites for the French Title

7 Mins read
french, Favourites for the French Title

Ligue 1 is undoubtedly a hunting ground for young talents for both real-life clubs and Sorare‘s fantasy coaches, and the top-level French league kicked off this weekend. In fact, we have seen how the two former Inter players Hakimi and Icardi led the highly rated Paris Saint Germain team to a 2-1 victory. But which are all the favorite teams for a final victory of the 2021/2022 season? Let’s find out together!

Last season was in some respects really sensational, as against all odds PSG did not win the championship due to the great surprise that Lille put on the field day after day. The reigning champions, however, will hardly be able to repeat themselves, and not only because of the pharaonic additions adopted by PSG, but also because there has been a coach change for Lille with Gourvennec and the team due to widespread financial difficulties finds itself with a staff markedly weakened.

Let’s now take a look at the clubs registered with Sorare in the league and evaluate their respective prospects, also taking into account the transfers and the concluded pre-season phase.

Lille

We just mentioned Lille’s predictable drop for the 2021-2022 season. First of all, it should be highlighted the loss of the best coach in France, Christophe Galtier, replaced by a certain Jocelyn Gourvennec who has just returned from a relegation with Guingamp, and thrown into the fray of a Champions League that sees really modest teams against formations that are very reminiscent of the team of “galacticos” given to Real Madrid a decade ago.

The pre-season round that has just ended suggests that Gourvennec will maintain the 4-4-2 that led Lille to the title last season. However, Gourvennec will be without key players such as Mike Maignan and Boubakary Soumare. Renato Sanches, Sven Botman, Jonathan Bamba and Jonathan Ikone are also all subject to rumors of increasingly intense upcoming departures. Maignan, as we know, is today the first Milan goalkeeper in place of Gianlucaigi Donnarumma who joined PSG. To keep an eye on this season is Yusuf Yazici and young people like Isaac Lihadi or Timothy Weah who could have much more space this season than the previous one.

Paris Saint Germain

PSG has certainly brought several big players to the table this year: Hakimi, Donnarumma, Ramos, Wijnaldum, Neymar has renewed and perhaps none other than Messi is on the way. Incredible. The Parisians will give absolute strength if everything should go as it seems in this market window, indeed, even if only by stopping at the current staff. It is true that the spectre of Mbappe’s possible departure hangs over the club but the team would dominate peacefully even without him. They also have a good enough coach to develop a system that can work with or without Mbappe, thanks to a well-established 4231 acting as the default module. Pochettino now also has the opportunity to move to three in the defense line. Either way, Neymar will again be the king of Sorare. And the cantera players what will happen to these bulky stars in the starting eleven? It is reasonable to think that some of them, such as Xavi Simons, Timothee Pembele, Arnaud Kalimuendo and Edouard Michut, become a source of interest for other clubs not only in Ligue 1 but also in other renowned European clubs. The eleven owners to date appear to be: Donnarumma, Ramos, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Hakimi, Verratti, Paredes, Wijnaldum, Neymar, Mbappe, Messi.

Olympique Lyon

Lyon fans are thrilled with new manager Peter Bosz, a man with a unique Zeman-style football philosophy. Offensive thrust, good football and, above all, one that is based on trust in young talents. Let’s leave out the potential defensive chaos for now. The 21-22 season promises to be a fascinating season in Lyon. The pre-season gave glimpses of fun football that we have all witnessed. The young players have been given a real chance, and this is fortunate because, apart from the young players who have left, it has been a rather boring transfer window for Lyon, no doubt also due to the 150 million financial hole. of Euros marked in the budget. However, things aren’t that bad when you have players like Lucas Paqueta and Bruno Guimaraes, as well as Houssem Aouar and Moussa Dembele who look like they could stay.

We know that Bosz’s style can create really high SO5 scores. Both in front and in the defensive department. The seemingly imminent arrival of Andre Onana is exciting as well as a harbinger of that concept. It will be an exciting season, and not without fluctuations. It is possible that Lyon will reach the top three of the French league to secure a place in the Champions League next year.

Olympique Marseille

The pre-season was really characterized by ups and downs for Marseille and their fans. The pre-season suggests that we could see a Marseille 3-4-3 form more bold than we can expect. A club built properly in the image and likeness of Sampaoli. However, such a long list of players available with many new personalities emerging from an important transfer market also has consequences that cannot be clearly defined upstream. Marseille have so far added Pau Lopez, William Saliba, Luan Peres, Leonardo Balerdi, Matteo Guendouzi, Gerson, Cengiz Under and Konrad de la Fuente. The consequences of such a square are that your team’s cohesion could hit rock bottom and take ages to develop again. Meanwhile, your results could plummet leading to moral breakdown and known disciplinary issues. Clearly this is not necessarily going to happen in Marseille. But they have, in Jorge Sampaoli, a fiery coach who was a direct pupil of Marco Bielsa. Add that to restless characters like Dimitri Payet and Matteo Guendouzi and it could really be trouble. We are not even talking about the financial consequences of not reaching the Champions League in 22-23, it would be a disaster given the amount invested to reach that goal. Speaking of Guendouzi, he is facing a fluctuating moment of his that shows off ample flashes of talent but also a character that we could define irritable. Let’s also expect Bouba Kamara and Dujan Caleta-Car to leave in this market window. Furthermore, let’s not expect the new recruits of the team to see the field very often, given the large squad available to the coach.

St. Etienne

A squad full of young talents who could do much better than the eleventh place achieved last season.  They desperately need a good striker, Charles Abi and Arnaud Nordin are not for now. They have been linked to various rumors regarding PSG’s Arnaud Kalimuendo having something of a breakout season on loan at RC Lens. A rather promising young man, very fast and with a particular eye for scoring. If he, or someone like that, gets there he could reach the top ten or a lot more. A new striker would also be great news for other teammates such as Dennis Bouanga, Adil Aouchiche and Wahbi Khazri. Another horse to watch is young striker Maxence Rivera. Talented promise from the French football academy of St Etienne.

Coach Puel is as much a burden as he is a blessing at times. He’s old school, and that doesn’t always go well with a much younger group of players. His penchant for mid-game substitutions and dubious squad selections often perplex all spectators and sometimes even his own team. Choosing Mahdi Camara as captain is a sensible decision. It will be the perfect bridge between Puel and the team. Watch out for Yvann Macon, fresh from an ACL and appeared lively in the preseason. Etienne Green, obviously will remain popular, is the goalkeeper and a resource of the under twenty-three. Let’s expect this to be Adil Aouchiche’s season too. He has been very present in the pre-season, he has shot almost all the set pieces and with a whole season behind him as a professional now let’s expect him to really start to get serious.

Nice

Christophe Galtier is a brilliant and quick-change manager. He has an important load of players: Todibo, Bard, Gouiri, Stengs, Kluivert, Rosario. Most of them are young people with rather exciting prospects. Tactically, everything suggests that Galtier will go on the pitch with the 4-4-2 that brought him so much success in previous Ligue 1 experiences. In the friendlies Stengs, Kluivert, Hassane Kamara and even Damien N’Doye played by showing off. Let’s expect Amine Gouiri and Kasper Dolberg to be the starting couple up front as well. It is also worth noting that Amine Gouiri took the majority of corner kicks as well as direct and indirect free kicks during the preseason, including a post against Milan. Dolberg will likely return to take penalties on his return to the team. When on the field Stengs has always taken both free-kicks and corners from the right. The club owners are expecting a bang now that they have their man in charge of the team: Galtier and his talented young team. In order to make predictions, the improvements made to the performances must be taken into accountto the results obtained by Galtier both with St Etienne and, of course, with the reigning champions of Lille. He is the best coach in France.  Perhaps, the best French manager currently active, he can also count on the great dose of talent made available by the wealthy company INEOS, and all this can really turn out to be an exciting and winning combination at the same time.

Nantes

Last season was tough. Unfortunately this season will be no different. The club is a basket case with an owner who comes and goes and a manager who plays football now discounted for his opponents. While it is true that they will struggle to score goals, it is also true that the Nantes players have managed to improve their defensive safety a little after Antoine Kombuare joined as manager last season. Alban Lafont appears to be less and less likely to leave this summer, which would be a positive note. He is fundamental for Nantes, even if he still has several situations where he has to improve his game, however as a U23 goalkeeper who starts every week he is a really precious resource considering Sorare’s dynamics.

The only move that caused discussion in the Nantes transfer market was the reconfirmation of Wylan Cyprien. A specialist with excessive physical power and set pieces who returns to France after a frankly unsuccessful and discontinuous season in Italy with Parma. Randal Kolo Muani was one of the rare positive notes for Nantes last season as well as for France in the Olympics. It is generating some important transfer rumors that do not seem totally unfounded. Milan and Frankfurt are on his trail. Lyon were also very interested in the beginning of the summer.

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