French football/soccer : French League One 2012/2013 season preview
Montpellier clinch maiden title
Montpellier have been crowned champions of France for the first time in the club's history. Their championship race with Paris Saint-Germain ran up until the final weekend, when Montpellier came from a goal down to win 2-1 at already relegated Auxerre, and deny the big-spending Parisians the title by three point. Montpellier's 50 points from 19 home matches was the key to their deserved maiden title triumph. PSG were heavily favoured to win the league, having splashed a French-record €108m during last summer, making them the biggest spenders in the world for the 2011/12 season. In contrast, Montpellier spent just €1.7m and their aim at the beginning of the campaign was survival.
PSG's second-place finish in Ligue 1 last term secured them a place in the group stage for the upcoming UEFA Champions League campaign. Lille, who are set to start the new season in a brand-new 50,000-seat stadium, play in the UEFA Champions League play-off round after finishing third in Ligue 1 last term. Fourth place and Cup winners Lyon enter the UEFA Europa League in the group stage. Fifth-placed Bordeaux will start in the UEFA Europa League play-off round, while Marseille, who won their third League Cup in a row, secured a berth in the third qualifying round. At the bottom, Caen, Dijon and Auxerre were relegated to the French second division, while Troyes, Reims and Bastia were promoted to Ligue 1.
Baup succeeds Deschamps as Marseille coach
Marseille have named Elie Baup as their new coach, 48 hours after Didier Deschamps quit the club with two years left on his contract. Baup managed Bordeaux between 1998 and 2003, guiding them to the Ligue 1 crown in 1999. The 57-year-old then had spells with Toulouse and Nantes, and has been out of coaching since being sacked by Nantes in 2009. He signed a two-year contract with Bordeaux.
Deschamps led Marseille to the 2010 Ligue 1 title in his first season in charge, the club's first in 18 years. He also won the French League Cup in each of his three campaigns at the helm. However, the 43-year-old experienced a difficult season last term where they finished 10th and his relationship with the infuential sporting director Jose Anigo took a turn for the worse. During the summer, Deschamps has reached an agreement to be the new France coach.
This page is introduction to the 2012/2013 French League 1 season. Latest news, statistics, results and predictions you can find on our main Euro Football > France page.
Puel named new coach at Nice
Claude Puel succeeds Rene Marsiglia as head coach after agreeing terms on a three-year deal with Nice. The club finished 13th in Ligue 1 last season but did not renew Marsiglia's contract after the former assistant stepped up to replace Eric Roy in November 2011. Puel, 50, was sacked last June after a three-year spell at Lyon, where he failed to win a single trophy. He also coached Monaco, and spent the longest stint of his coaching career with Lille from 2002-08.
Ajaccio appoint Dupont, Brest turn to Chauvin
Alex Dupont has been appointed coach of Ajaccio following the resignation of Olivier Pantaloni. Pantaloni quit his post in early June, having guided the club to top-flight safety in 2011/12. Dupont was sacked by Brest towards the end of last season, but has secured an immediate return to the dugout. Meanwhile, Landry Chauvin has left his position at Nantes to be appointed as the new coach of Brest. Chauvin takes over from Corentin Martins, who served as interim boss following Dupont's departure in April and secured top-flight survival on the final day of the season.
French football league standings for season 2011/2012.
PSG heavy favourites
Montpellier stunned French football with last season's surprise title but according to the online bookmakers Paris Saint-Germain are heavy favourites to win their first championship in 18 years. With free-spending Qatari owners and experienced Italian Carlo Ancelotti as coach, PSG have signed Napoli's Ezequiel Lavezzi and Milan duo Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, taking their summer spending to an estimated â‚¬100m. "The owners' aim is very clear: to build a team in the Champions League, not just in France," said Ancelotti.
The preseason odds for the outright winner of the 2012/13 French football league
French Cup (Coupe de France) finals in last five years
2008 Lyon - Paris Saint-Germain 1:0 (after extra time)
League Cup (Coupe de Ligue) finals in last five years
2008 Paris Saint-Germain - Lens 2:1