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French football is on the rise, with the national side enjoying a super 2018 World Cup, and this is reflected in the improvement of the Ligue 1.
The French premier league is enjoying a spate of high profile signings and are developing a taste for European football once again.
The likes of PSG and Monaco are leading the way while a cast of supporting actors are getting in on the act.
Marseille, Rennes and Lyon are all top sides, capable of not only lifting the Ligue 1 title but also featuring strongly in Europe over the coming years.
The surge of popularity in the French league is based on massive signings, inspired talent and a solid building block for the national team.
PSG currently boast two of the best players in the world in Neymar and Mbappe and the duo cost the club an astronomical combined fee. But the dividend will surely pay off. Even if Neymar leaves ahead of the 2018/19 season, as has been speculated, the club will only bring in a quality like-for-like replacement.
Leading British bookmakers have already installed PSG as the overwhelming favourites to lift the title with the capital based side installed at the incredibly short price of 1/14.
This is almost unheard of in betting circles – one team being such overwhelming favourites despite a full season ahead, many top teams chasing the defending champions as well as potential banana skins like long-term injuries and managerial unhappiness.
The three next best favourites are all tagged at 14/1 and are all a good bet for punters looking for a big return on investment.
Monaco, Lyon and Marseilles are all title contenders in their own right and PSG will not just turn up and win the league.
The betting public may also go for European qualification, with the side finishing second guaranteed a sport in the Champions League, while the club finishing third will be put into the following season’s third round qualifications, ahead of the group stages.
The relegation battle is another hot topic for punters and Reims, Dijon, Strasbourg, Nimes and Toulouse all hoping for a good showing. Incidentally these teams are all installed at 500/1 for a title winning season.
PSG ran away with the title in the 2017/18 campaign romping home by 13 points, well ahead of second placed Monaco.
Lyon finished a distant third while Marseilles, Rennes and Bordeaux all qualifying for the Europa League.
Historically, St Etienne holds the most title wins with 10 (three runner up finishes) but their last league trophy came in the 1980/81 season.
For punters past historical feats in the French Ligue 1 are not as significant as with many other top European leagues with current favourites PSG only lifting the silverware on seven occasions.
More importantly the Paris side have won five of their titles in the period since 2012, only relinquishing the champion tag once, in 2016/17 to Monaco.
Seven years ago new owners pumped billions of Euros into Paris St Germaine and the club has reaped the benefits of the increased budget.
Before the re-launch of PSG and Monaco to a lesser extent, clubs like Marseilles and Lille were title contenders with both sides lifting the trophy nine and eight years ago respectively.
Marseilles, a dominant force in the late 80’s and early 90’s, suffered heavily from a cheating scandal that brought the famed club to its knees. The side is rebuilding momentum though and could be a contender for a European Champions league spot.
Marseilles have won the title nine times, the second highest tally in Ligue 1, while Monaco and Nantes have each lifted the crown eight times.
However bettors will need not look further than PSG and Monaco as genuine title winners, with the relegation and European spot-battles the focus of French soccer betting in this league.