After the FIFA World Cup 2022, the French professional football league, or Ligue 1, is set to resume on Dec. 28. Our sportsbook offers the best markets and bonuses for the French top-flight league.
What’s next for Paris Saint-Germain?
There is less than a week until leaders Paris Saint-Germain are set to return to action, as they play host to Strasbourg in Ligue 1 on Dec. 28. However, it is unlikely that either Kylian Mbappe or Leo Messi will be featuring in that squad as they are set to be handed an extra break to recover from their World Cup exploits.
The two superstars need rest following their efforts across the tournament, and it has become standard practice for clubs to allow players a break from football of between seven and 10 days following their conclusion in the World Cup to rest and recover.
While the league clash against Strasbourg is likely to come around too soon for the two World Cup finalists, there is no shortage of games for Christophe Galtier’s side coming up for the duo to be restored to the first-team squad and return to duties.
Four days later, on New Year’s Day, PSG faces a testing trip to Lens in Ligue 1, and on Jan. 6, it will travel to Chateauroux in the Coupe de France. The latest return date for both players is likely to be Jan. 11, when the Ligue 1 reigning champs host Angers.
PSG remains unbeaten in the French top-flight league through their first 15 fixtures this campaign and sits five points clear of Lens at the top of the standings. They also have the best attack in the league with 43 goals.
Can Lens Keep on Winning?
The 2021-22 season delivered us an exciting campaign of Ligue 1 football, particularly in the race for the Champions League and Europa League places.
Lens took a fairly passive approach to pressing last season, prioritizing a stable defensive block over reducing the amount of time the opponent had on the ball. Lens might lack the glamour of Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille, but they are sitting second after an outstanding start to the season and hopes are high that they could even mount a lasting challenge for Champions League qualification.
This season marks two decades since Lens and their blood and gold shirts were last spotted in Europe’s elite club competition when they defeated AC Milan and drew twice with Bayern Munich. Lens had spent most of the last decade in the second division before returning to Ligue 1 in 2020.
They have since enjoyed two seventh-place finishes, and their current form has raised hopes they can improve on that despite selling several key players in the close season. Next week they travel to play Nice but the most important clash after the World Cup will be at home against leaders PSG, a game that will define their season.