French teams are currently fighting on all fronts across UEFA’s newly implemented three-tier, pan-European tournament system this season. It represents the first time a tripartite setup has been brought into European competition since the Cup Winners’ Cup was scrapped at the turn of the Millenium.
But does another competition bode well for French teams looking to end a 25-year drought in Europe? And if so, who are Ligue Un’s best chance at success?
PSG were the last French team to win big in Europe when they lifted the Cup Winners’ Cup back in the spring of 1996. Unsurprisingly they currently represent the biggest chance of success for a French team to pick up European silverware this season.
A variety of betting sites are backing the oil-rich Parisians to go one better than their final appearance in 2020, to finally lay their hands on a highly-anticipated Champions League trophy. If you agree, betting experts BetBlazers.com currently have tailored betting guides for a number of countries to help boost your betting experience.
PSG are currently being touted as joint-favourites with Manchester City who were also toppled at the last hurdle by Chelsea in the most recent Champions League final. Both bouts were tight affairs with just a single goal deciding the contest, demonstrating the fine margins at this, the pinnacle of club football.
The Qatari owned side bolstered their forward line with superstar Lionel Messi in what was the cherry on the cake of a landmark preseason transfer window. With the help of their new acquisitions, PSG have carved out a nine-point gap for themselves at the top of Ligue Un which will help create some breathing room for their European campaign.
You’d have to skip a step past the Europa League to UEFA’s new creation, the Conference League, to find Ligue Un’s next best chance at succeeding in Europe this season according to the bookmakers.
The Conference League is currently being touted by UEFA as a chance for teams further down the footballing pyramid to afford the chance to try themselves against some of Europe’s sides on a more equal footing – much in the same vein as its forerunner the Nations League is to international football.
Rennes are currently sat in seventh place in Ligue Un but are only three points off second spot such is the tight nature of this season’s domestic league in France. With the title already looking likely to head back to Paris, a second spot would see Rennes qualify for the Champions League.
However, the Breton based side fancy themselves for European silverware this season and are rightly being backed as third favourites in the Conference League behind heavyweights Roma and Tottenham Hotspur.
Two-time French champions Les Rennais last made an impression on the European stage back in 2008 when they claimed the Intertoto Cup alongside Portuguese side Braga. The Bretons have made a strong start to the season and are undefeated in five games as of this weekend.
More familiar names in Monaco, Marseille and Lyon who are currently competing in the Europa League this season are not currently being backed as strongly as their counterparts Rennes, despite having more experience and calibre in European competition.
Such is the intensive nature of this year’s Europa League tournament with the likes of Premier League sides West Ham and Leicester who have had a resurgence in form recent months. Strong English sides too appear alongside the likes of Serie A’s Lazio and Napoli who represent the pack of favourites already at the group stage.
Competition likewise is looking fierce for European places in Ligue Un which could prove a hindrance for sides outside of PSG’s already comfortable orbit. The perils of playing Thursday-Sunday football have worn down many a side who can’t find the right balance necessary to perform on both fronts and this will be a factor all French clubs in the Europa League and Conference League will have to pay notice to.