French Ligue 1: Lyon Stuck in PSG and Monaco’s Shadow

Lyon

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Lyon is a team that dominated the French Ligue 1 from winning their first title in 2002 to going on and wining each of the next ones up until 2008. Then, their drought began as other league teams began to find ways to bring the top team down from their pedestal and selling their best players did not help their case at all.

Now, there are two other teams that are expected to dominate France: Paris Saint Germain and Monaco. These two teams have new owners that have done nothing but sign some of the world’s best players, and this could only make matters worse for a legendary team like Lyon.

Last season, PSG won the league title for the first time in many years while Monaco were in the second division. Now that they are back in the top flight, with their signings galore, they are ready to automatically challenge PSG for the right to be called the very best in France.

Lyon have talent, but they do not have nearly the same amount of money that their two counterparts have access to. If they did, we could have witnessed a three-way-race between teams with billionaire owners just throwing money onto the field to see who lands more victories. However, that is not the case by any means and honestly, there is no guarantee that PSG or Monaco will win the title — Lyon could cause a huge upset by season’s end.

Now, with Monaco back, the team will look to build on their success from 2003 when they made the UEFA Champions League final. They will not be there this season, but a high league finish will do everything but guarantee their group stage spot for 2014.

PSG is expected to win the league title again as well as advance even further than the quarterfinals in this season’s UCL. However, this will not be easy by any means as they have to play under the new system of new head coach Laurent Blanc.

Lyon should finish in third at worst, but of course the objective is to win back the League 1 title after a six year hiatus. They will have to be as close to perfection as possible and hope that their top rivals slip up every now and then for this to happen.

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