Ligue 1

PSG as champions, Lyon closest challengers - Ligue 1 20/21 predictions

Last season the French top flight was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic; can anyone stop PSG over a full campaign?

12:00pm on Friday 11th September 2020
Robin Bairner | French Football Expert

French football fans had to sit at home and watch as other elite leagues around Europe were finished to their completion in 2019/20.

PSG didn't care, as they still romped to another championship as well as the Champions League final.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like any team is equipped to take down Thomas Tuchel's men, who will probably will the title at a canter once again.

Here, we lay out some predictions for the new top-flight French season.


Ligue 1 WinnersPSG

While their coronavirus problems promise to make the start of the season tricky for the Parisians and a lack of European football should allow Lyon, in particular, to offer a more sustained challenge, it should be another stroll to the title for Thomas Tuchel’s side.


Top FourLyon, Nice, Monaco

Lyon - A focus on the league this season should allow OL to finish second, although this could be complicated if they lose too many top players such as Memphis Depay, Houssem Aouar, Moussa Dembele and even Jeff Reine-Adelaide.

Nice - Strong investment in the squad over the summer has improved their depth and quality, and although this is a side that lacks experience, this ability to spend when others are cutting back could be a key edge.

Monaco - Another side to benefit from not playing European football, the Stade Louis II side were hugely disappointing last season but have shown early signs of improvement. They have a strong squad and surely cannot suffer to the same degree with injuries. Lille, Rennes and Marseille will ensure this is a very close race, though.



Dijon - Flirted with the drop last season and will do well to escape it this time around, especially after a poor start to the season.

Brest - Lack the attacking firepower of their relegation rivals, which could make the difference.



There’s understandably been a lack of big deals in France, but the work down by the newly promoted side to take the midfielder from Udinese was remarkable. At 25, he is capable of playing at a high level, with three goals and seven assists in Serie A last term.



Reims’ recruitment is generally excellent, which is one of the reasons they have returned to Europe, but the decision to make the Greece international’s loan a permanent deal from Stuttgart is a puzzling one, especially as they spent €4 million to do it. He was the definition of a bit-part player last season and failed to score a single goal. He has scored only seven times in the last three seasons.


Top GoalscorerNEYMARPSG

It’s set to be a shootout between the Brazilian and Kylian Mbappe. It may come down to who gets more game time.


Player of the YearKYLIAN MBAPPEPSG

Again another shootout between the young French star and Neymar, but a dose of Covid-19 will set the Brazilian back and popular opinion in his homeland is likely to favour the World Cup winner as the vote is decided by the players.


Surprise PackageBordeaux

Had this prediction been made before the season started, I’d have put Bordeaux as relegation candidates due to the shambolic nature of their summer. However, Ghislain Printant, who was only appointed in early August, already has them looking like a unit and is a coach who worked wonders in the past with Saint-Etienne. Four points from a possible six so far does not look a fluke.



Could easily have been the signing of the summer, Nimes made a coup by making his loan from Bordeaux permanent. A classy playmaker, the 21-year-old played a critical role as Les Crocos avoided the drop last season, having long been underrated on the banks of the Gironde. If he continues at that level, big clubs will come calling.

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