Another Ligue 1 campaign kicks off on Friday, after a big window into French football, with Paris Saint-Germain keeping Kylian Mbappé.
New arrivals in the league include returns from Lyon duo Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso, while high-profile departures have seen Aurelien Tchouameni, Sven Botman and Nayef Aguerd depart.
With PSG once again investing heavily in its squad, adding the likes of Vitinha, Hugo Ekitike and Nordi Mukiele, the capital’s club should win another title – but could there be a surprise?
The verdict, unsurprisingly, is probably not – as Stats Perform AI predicted the outcome of the upcoming campaign by estimating the probability of teams finishing in each position informed by the expected results in each match.
These are calculated using Stats Perform’s betting odds and team rankings – based on the team’s history and recent performance – and while a title race isn’t likely, there are some big battles elsewhere in the division.
PSG PARTY ONCE AGAIN
With one of the most expensive squads ever assembled, including the devastating attack of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, PSG should come as no surprise to have another Ligue 1 success.
Having won eight of the last nine titles, the Stats Perform AI gave PSG a 76.01% chance of retaining their crown.
Marseille, runners-up last season, are seen as the team most capable of facing a challenge, although their 7.29% odds are slim. Monaco, title winners in 2016-17, have a 6.55% chance.
Lyon, once the dominant force in French football, only have a 4.29% chance, while Rennes have 3.44% and Lille, the last team to stop PSG from winning the title, having lifted the trophy. in 2020-21, it only has a 0.71% chance.
The chasm of class in French football is highlighted by the fact that nine teams, nearly half of the division, are seen as hopeless to challenge for the title.
RACE FOR EUROPEAN FOOTBALL
Unlike the other major leagues in European football, France has a limited number of places for qualifying for UEFA competitions, with only two places guaranteed in the Champions League, one place in the qualification, one place in the group stage of the League. Europa and one in the Europa Conference League. offs.
With PSG expected to clinch the title and claim the first of two Champions League group stage berths with a 90.93% probability, the competition for the other automatic qualifying berth could be fierce.
Marseille are seen as the favorites in this battle with a 29.97% chance, with Monaco following suit with a 29.97% chance.
Elsewhere, Lyon have an 18.7% chance, with Rennes at 15.53%, although they may have to settle for a third-place finish or a Europa League spot.
The fight for fifth place, and a play-off spot in the Conference League, is also expected to be tight – with five clubs, in addition to those already mentioned above, with at least a five percent chance of making it to that spot.
Nice, Lens, Lille, Nantes and Strasbourg all have a shot at fighting for a spot in European competition, which could create an exciting battle.
REGULATORY CHANGES INCREASE THE FIGHT TO SHUTDOWN
With Ligue 1 reduced to 18 teams for the 2023-24 season, the fight to avoid falling to the second division will be fiercer than ever, with the bottom four being relegated – and there will be no play-offs either.
The situation looks grim for Ajaccio (57.64% chance of relegation), Clermont (57.57), Troyes (56.72) and Lorient (53.92), all seen as more likely to suffer relegation than avoid the fall.
Auxerre (46.58) and Toulouse (34.02) could also find themselves looking over their shoulders over the course of the season, while PSG, Marseille and Monaco are the three teams with no chance of leaving the championship at the bottom.
Of the promoted trio, it is Toulouse that have the best chance of retaining their top flight status for another season – with the most likely position being 15th, with a 10.59% chance of securing that spot.