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Ligue 1 Matchday 1 preview

Troyes vs PSG and all Matchday 1 games in the opening round of the 2021/22 Ligue 1 season

August 5, 2021 By Ali M.
The 2021/22 campaign gets underway on Friday, but the likes of PSG, Lyon, Lille, Marseille, and Monaco will take to the field this weekend.

Ligue 1, or the League of Talents, as the LFP proudly named it, is back! After a three-month break, the French top-flight is gearing up for its highly-anticipated return, with the 2021/22 season set to get underway on Friday, August 6, with the nine remaining Matchday 1 fixtures scheduled for the weekend.

All eyes will be on PSG as the European giants look to avenge last season's failure. Despite boasting the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi, Marquinhos, and Euro 2020 champion Marco Verratti; it was not Les Parisiens who came away with the 2020/21 Ligue 1 title. That honor went to Lille, with Lille lifting the title by a single point.

It was Les Dogues first top-flight crown since Eden Hazard led them to the trophy back in 2011. However, since then, Christophe Galtier has departed from his role as head coach, making the switch to Nice instead. Jocelyn Gourvennec was appointed as his replacement, a movement that raised a few eyebrows given that he has been unemployed since 2019 when he oversaw Guingamp's relegation.

Then there are the likes of Lyon and Marseille, two of France's biggest clubs, who unfortunately missed out on UEFA Champions League football, which is a huge blow given the current financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. How will they fare in the opening round of the 2021/22 Ligue 1 season? Here's everything you need to know about Matchday 1.

A quick reminder: Here's how Ligue 1 finished last season

Ligue 1, Standings, PSG, Lille, Monaco, Lyon, Marseille, 2020/21 

Top games to watch

Lyon vs Brest: Les Gones have lost Memphis Depay, one of their best—if not the best—players over the past few years. Furthermore, the future of Aouar and Bruno Guimaraes are under doubt, meaning Lyon could be in for an interesting season. While their opening day clash with Brest might not be the best gauge for how their season will unfold, it could give early signs.

Troyes vs PSG: While Pochettino is one of the most highly-regarded tacticians in world football, he is the PSG boss with the highest loss rate since the current QSI ownership toke over. Having recently lost the French Super Cup to Lille, the Parc des Princes higher-ups will closely follow the club's performance under the Argentine's stewardship. Kicking off the 2021/22 campaign without a win against newly-promoted Troyes would be disastrous.

Metz vs Lille: Les Dogues beat PSG in the French Super Cup, sealing the curtain-raiser trophy courtesy of a 1-0 triumph. However, the defending champions will not be judged on how they fare in a 90-minute cup final but rather over a 38-game season. Boubakary Soumare has gone to Leicester while Sven Botman and Renato Sanches could also head for the door, casting doubts over Lille's title hopes. Keep your eyes out for this tie.

Which players are OUT for Matchday 1?

PSG: Juan Bernat, Rafinha, Colin Dagba (injured);  Marco Verratti, Leandro Paredes, Marquinhos, Pablo Sarabia, Neymar, and Mbappe (doubtful)

Lyon: Jeff-Reine Adelaide, Lenny Pintor, Bruno Guimaraes

Monaco: Benjamin Lecomte, Adrien Bongiovanni, Jean Marcelin 

Full list of games for Matchday in Ligue 1

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