French League One 2020/2021 season preview Football

PSG awarded French title as season finished early

Paris St-Germain have been awarded the Ligue 1 title in April after it was announced the season would not resume because of the coronavirus pandemic. PSG were 12 points clear at the top of the table, with a game in hand, when French football was suspended indefinitely on 13 March. PSG have been awarded the title on a points-per-game basis, while Lorient have been crowned Ligue 2 champions on the same principle. They were just one point above Lens when the season was suspended and both teams were promoted.

The French football league's decision to end the season with 10 games remaining meant Lyon, who were fifth a week before the last match day, finished out of European competition for the first time since 1996-97, while Amiens and Toulouse were relegated. So, France's highest administrative court has rejected an appeal from Lyon against ending Ligue 1 early, while Toulouse and Amiens' relegation from Ligue 1 has been confirmed after a vote to keep the French top flight at 20 clubs next season was approved.

St. Etienne10687417
Paris SG912111

The overall number of titles for each club in the French top flight since 1932 (only professional league championships) and their league standings in the last five seasons.

Niko Kovac appointed Monaco head coach

Former Croatia captain and coach Niko Kovac has been named the new manager of Monaco. After parting ways with Robert Moreno, the board of the Ligue 1 side named Kovac as his successor. The 48-year-old Croatian has signed a three-year deal with the club with the possibility to extend. Kovac also managed Eintracht and won the German Cup before winning the league and cup double with Bayern Munich last season.

This page is introduction to the 2020/2021 French League 1 season. Latest news, statistics, results and predictions you can find on our main Euro Football > France page.

Bordeaux name Gasset as new coach

Bordeaux announced the signing of local veteran coach Jean-Louis Gasset on a two-year contract following the dismissal of Portuguese manager Paulo Sousa. The 66-year-old served as an assistant coach for Laurent Blanc when Bordeaux won the French Cup in 2009, before taking the reins at Montpellier in 2017 and Saint Etienne from 2017 to 2019. Sousa oversaw a disappointing 2019/20 season when Bordeaux finished 12th after the campaign was halted as coronavirus spread across Europe, and later declared over.

Arpinon replaces Blaquart as Nimes boss

Ligue 1 side Nimes have announced the resignation of manager Bernard Blaquart. The 62-year-old has left the club in June by mutual termination agreement, in a decision instigated by the manager owing to months of disagreement with club president Rani Assaf. Blaquart's assistant, Jerome Arpinon, replaces him as the club's new manager. Blaquart did exceptional work with the team, having saved the club from relegation in the 3rd division, taking them up to Ligue 1 in 2018 and staved off relegation from the 1st division twice, finishing 9th in 2019 and 18th in 2020.

1PSG685122-2-3 (27)
2Marseille561216-8-4 (28)
3Rennes501415-5-8 (28)
4Lille49815-4-9 (28)
5Nice41311-8-9 (28)
6Reims41510-11-7 (28)
7Lyon401511-7-10 (28)
8Montpel.40111-7-10 (28)
9Monaco40011-7-10 (28)
10Angers39-511-6-11 (28)
11Strasb.38011-5-11 (27)
12Bordeaux3769-10-9 (28)
13Nantes37-311-4-13 (28)
14Brest34-38-10-10 (28)
15Metz34-88-10-10 (28)
16Dijon30-107-9-12 (28)
17St.Etienne30-168-6-14 (28)
18Nimes27-157-6-15 (28)
19Amiens23-194-11-13 (28)
20Toulouse13-363-4-21 (28)

French football league standings for season 2019/20120.

Odds favor Paris Saint-Germain

After winning three trophies in 2019/20, PSG is favored to win the Ligue 1 title in this upcoming season. Although PSG was named champions in 2019/20 because the league was cut short due to COVID-19, they held a 12-point lead over second-place Marseille. One way or another, the Parisians were on their way to another league title even if the season was completed. They looked practically unstoppable, losing just three times in 27 matches while scoring 75 goals and conceding just 24. Kylian Mbappe led the way with 18 goals, while Neymar and Mauro Icardi bagged 13 and 12, respectively. With Mbappe, Neymar, and Icardi leading the line, PSG is a safe bet to win at least the Ligue 1 trophy this term.

St Etienne251Brest1001

The preseason odds for the outright winner of the 2019/20 French football league

French Cup (Coupe de France) finals in last five years

French champion Paris Saint-Germain edged out Lyon 6-5 on penalty kicks to win a tightly contested last edition of the League Cup and complete a domestic treble, denying Lyon its first trophy since the French Cup in 2012. The match in regular time finished 0-0. Although Lyon played better in extra time, defender Rafael was shown a red card moments from the end for a clumsy foul on PSG winger Angel Di Maria on the edge of the penalty area.

2020   Paris Saint-Germain - Saint-Etienne   1:0
2019   Rennes - Paris Saint-Germain   2:2 (aet, 6:5 penalities)
2018   Paris Saint-Germain - Les Herbiers   2:0
2017   Paris Saint-Germain - Angers   1:0
2016   Paris Saint-Germain - Marseille   4:2

League Cup (Coupe de Ligue) finals in last five years

2020   Paris Saint-Germain - Lyon   0:0 (aet, 6:5 penalities)
2019   Strasbourg - Guingamp   0:0 (aet, 4:1 penalities)
2018   Paris Saint-Germain - Monaco   3:0
2017   Paris Saint-Germain - Monaco   4:1
2016   Paris Saint-Germain - Lille   2:1

Key players
(transfer market value in m€)


Goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni (7); Defense: Rayan Ait Nouri (20), Souleyman Doumbia (2.5), Romain Thomas (2.4); Midfield: Baptiste Santamaria (7), Angelo Fulgini (7), Antonin Bobichon (2.8), Mathias Pereira Lage (2.8), Sada Thioub (2.8); Forward: Stephane Bahoken (4.5), Rachid Alioui (4).


Goalkeeper Benoit Costil (3.5); Defense: Pablo (8), Youssouf Sabaly (8), Laurent Koscielny (4); Midfield: Remi Oudin (7), Otavio (6.5), Samuel Kalu (6.5), Yacine Adli (6.3), Toma Basic (4.8); Forward: Josh Maja (6.3), Nicolas de Preville (5.5).


Goalkeeper Gautier Larsonneur (6.5); Defense: Christophe Herelle (5.5), Ronael Pierre-Gabriel (3.6), Denys Bain (2), Romain Perraud (2); Midfield: Ibrahima Diallo (15), Franck Honorat (4), Paul Lasne (1.7), Cristian Battocchio (1.7); Forward: Irvin Cardona (6), Gaetan Charbonnier (2).


Goalkeeper Alfred Gomis (2.4); Defense: Bruno Ecuele Manga (2.2), Wesley Lautoa (1.4), Senou Coulibaly (0.8); Midfield: Mounir Chouiar (7.2), Pape Cheikh (5.5), Didier Ndong (3.2), Mama Balde (3.2), Romain Amalfitano (1.6); Forward: Julio Tavares (2.2), Aurelien Scheidler (0.8).


Goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez (4.5); Defense: Facundo Medina (4.5), Issiaga Sylla (2.8), Jonathan Gradit (1.2); Midfield: Seko Fofana (9.5), Gael Kakuta (2.8), Tony Mauricio (2), Cheick Doucoure (1.8), Corentin Jean (1.6); Forward: Ignatius Ganago (3.6), Florian Sotoca (1.2).


Goalkeeper Mike Maignan (17.5); Defense: Gabriel Magalhaes (20), Zeki Celik (16), Sven Botman (6); Midfield: Jonathan Ikone (36), Jonathan David (25), Boubakary Soumare (24.5), Renato Sanches (20), Jonathan Bamba (16); Forward: Victor Osimhen (40), Timothy Weah (7.2).


Goalkeeper Paul Nardi (2); Defense: Julien Laporte (1.2), Vincent Le Goff (1.2), Thomas Fontaine (0.8); Midfield: Yoane Wissa (3.5), Enzo Le Fee (3), Trevoh Chalobah (2.7), Quentin Boisgard (2), Stephane Diarra (1.8); Forward: Adrian Grbic (7), Pierre-Yves Hamel (2.4).


Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes (17.5); Defense: Joachim Andersen (16), Jason Denayer (12), Leo Dubois (12); Midfield: Houssem Aouar (49.5), Memphis Depay (44), Bruno Guimaraes (28), Jeff Reine-Adelaide (22.5), Rayan Cherki (18); Forward: Moussa Dembele (40), Karl Toko Ekambi (14).


Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda (2.4); Defense: Boubacar Kamara (27), Duje Caleta-Car (23), Jordan Amavi (9.5), Bouna Sarr (9); Midfield: Florian Thauvin (32), Morgan Sanson (22.5), Valentin Rongier (16), Maxime Lopez (12); Forward: Dario Benedetto (12), Valere Germain (4).


Goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja (3); Defense: Dylan Bronn (4), Fabien Centonze (4), Mamadou Fofana (3.2); Midfield: Vagner (3.5), Kevin N'Doram (2.8), Habib Maiga (2.8), Victorien Angban (2.8), Opa Nguette (2.8); Forward: Habib Diallo (12), Ibrahima Niane (3.2).


Goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte (11); Defense: Benoit Badiashile (20), Axel Disasi (13.5), Guillermo Maripan (11), Strahinja Pavlovic (10); Midfield: Aleksandr Golovin (20), Gelson Martins (20), Keita Balde (16), Aurelien Tchouameni (15.5); Forward: Wissam Ben Yedder (40), Stevan Jovetic (6.5).


Goalkeeper Jonas Omlin (4.8); Defense: Pedro Mendes (4.8), Arnaud Souquet (4), Nicolas Cozza (3.6); Midfield: Teji Savanier (9.5), Joris Chotard (7), Florent Mollet (7), Damien Le Tallec (3.2); Forward: Andy Delort (13), Gaetan Laborde (8), Stephy Mavididi (5).


Goalkeeper Alban Lafont (11); Defense: Andrei Girotto (4), Jean-Charles Castelletto (2.4), Charles Traore (2.4); Midfield: Imran Louza (10), Ludovic Blas (10), Abdoulaye Toure (8), Moses Simon (6.5), Anthony Limbombe (4); Forward: Kalifa Coulibaly (4), Renaud Emond (3.5).


Goalkeeper Walter Benitez (8); Defense: Youcef Atal (20), Stanley Nsoki (11), Hassane Kamara (6); Midfield: Wylan Cyprien (14.5), Rony Lopes (10), Morgan Schneiderlin (9.5), Pierre Lees Melou (8); Forward: Kasper Dolberg (20), Myziane Maolida (7.2), Amine Gouiri (7).


Goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet (2.4); Defense: Anthony Briancon (3.2), Sofiane Alakouch (3.2), Pablo Martinez (2.5); Midfield: Yassine Benrahou (4), Lamine Fomba (3.6), Andres Cubas (3.2), Zinedine Ferhat (2.8); Forward: Renaud Ripart (3.2), Moussa Kone (2.8), Kevin Denkey (1.8).

Paris Saint-Germain

Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola (13); Defense: Marquinhos (52), Presnel Kimpembe (28), Abdou Diallo (28), Thilo Kehrer (28); Midfield: Neymar (128), Marco Verratti (60), Angel Di Maria (32), Pablo Sarabia (28); Forward: Kylian Mbappe (180), Mauro Icardi (60).


Goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic (8); Defense: Ghislain Konan (5.5), Thomas Foket (4.8), Wout Faes (2.7); Midfield: Mathieu Cafaro (6), Xavier Chavalerin (4), Valon Berisha (4), Arber Zeneli (4), Nathanael Mbuku (4); Forward: Boulaye Dia (6), El Bilal Toure (3.5).


Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (7); Defense: Faitout Maouassa (12), Hamari Traore (5.5), Jeremy Gelin (4.8); Midfield: Eduardo Camavinga (37.5), Raphinha (16), Benjamin Bourigeaud (12), Martin Terrier (12), Steven Nzonzi (11); Forward: M'Baye Niang (15), Adrien Hunou (5.5).


Goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier (2.4); Defense: Wesley Fofana (10), Timothee Kolodziejczak (4.8), Harold Moukoudi (3.2), Sergi Palencia (2.8); Midfield: Denis Bouanga (9.5), Zaydou Youssouf (7.2), Yann M'Vila (6), Adil Aouchiche (5.4); Forward: Wahbi Khazri (7), Lois Diony (2.4).


Goalkeeper Matz Sels (6.5); Defense: Mohamed Simakan (12), Kenny Lala (9.5), Alexander Djiku (6.5), Anthony Caci (3.2); Midfield: Adrien Thomasson (6.5), Ibrahima Sissoko (4.8), Jean-Ricner Bellegarde (3.6); Forward: Ludovic Ajorque (6.8), Lebo Mothiba (4), Majeed Waris (2.4).