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Ligue 1 Returns at the end of 2022: What to Expect

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Ligue 1 has all the bragging rights this season. For a league dismissed mainly by a majority for the lack of good competition for the top teams, players from there have proven otherwise after recently dropping a masterclass performance on the biggest of stages, the World Cup.

Eventual World Cup winner Lionel Messi and runner-up Kylian Mbappe both play for the top Ligue 1 team, Paris Saint Germain, and they were undoubtedly the best players in the tournament. However, the French league returns after a six-week break due to the first-ever winter World Cup in 2022. As the league prepares to return to action on the 28th of December, here are the latest news, previews, and predictions for upcoming matches.

Follow Half A Goal for more Ligue 1 news, match previews, and predictions.

What are the Latest News In Ligue 1?

Here we will look at the recent happenings in the league and players that have significant achievements during the break in the infamous World Cup. 

PSG Forward Wins The World Cup

Lionel Andres Messi was a man on a mission in the 2022 World Cup. The Argentine laid it all on the pitch in what he said to be the last World Cup he would participate in. Messi finally took home the prize he had been seeking, and he is now fully qualified to lay claim to the title of G.O.A.T. He has won every football championship, so it is fair to declare him the greatest player ever.

The awkward aspect is that Lionel Messi had to play against Kylian Mbappe, a PSG player, to complete the task. As the Argentine raised the trophy, Mbappe sobbed in grief. While Mbappe scored the most goals, Messi was the tournament’s top player. As PSG strives to win the Champions League this season, this won’t impact their relationship at the club level.

Angers Sacks Manager Gerald Baticle

In nearly exactly one month since he was placed on administrative leave and Abdel Bouhazama took over as manager in the interim, Angers has fired Gérald Baticle. Le SCO had a solid start to the previous campaign, which included a convincing 3-0 victory against Lyon.

Still, their play has deteriorated recently, with the team languishing at the bottom of Ligue 1. The lengthy Lyon assistant’s contract was set to expire after the 2024–2025 campaign. The team had suffered seven straight losses going into the international break, with their only win in the entire season coming against Nice in the middle of September.

Sofiane Boufal And Azzedine Ounahi To Leave Angers? 

It’s not shocking to see Angers yet in the spotlight again. The Moroccan pair of Sofiane Boufal and Azzedine Ounahi was one of the strong performers for Morocco in the just concluded World Cup. Their days at the bottom-placed team in Ligue 1 are supposedly over; thus, they have unavoidably drawn interest from all across Europe.

Both Atlas Lions want to go, according to L’Équipe. The former Southampton player had previously had bids from the Middle East to quit his formative club, where he would return in 2020. Boufal has since deleted any references to Le SCO from his social media. His teammate could move on this summer, but Lille’s offer was rejected. Leicester has already expressed interest, but the club would like to sell Ounahi and keep him on loan through the end of the current campaign. 

Neymar And Kylian Mbappe Will Play For PSG Against Strasbourg

For Paris Saint-Ligue Germain’s 1 season opener against Strasbourg on Wednesday night, both Neymar and Kylian Mbappé are anticipated to play. While the tournament-winning captain Lionel Messi’s return date is yet unknown, the Frenchman and the Brazilian quickly returned from their World Cup campaigns. A final decision will be made following Tuesday’s practice regarding whether the forwards will start or play off the bench against the Alsatians. Last Wednesday, Mbappé skipped any permitted vacation time and went back to the practice field three days after the World Cup final, while Neymar returned the following day.

Two Key Departures From Nantes Ahead Of Restart

Antoine Kombouaré, the manager of Nantes, announced that Fábio and Dennis Appiah would depart the organization during the forthcoming transfer window before the team’s trip to Troyes this week. Since neither full-back was present for the team’s most recent practice, he acknowledged that he had let them out by opening the door. Both, according to Kombouaré, planned to relocate this winter. Fábio is expected to move to Grêmio upon his return to Brazil. Appiah, however, is anticipated to sign with Saint-Étienne, a team currently fighting for survival in Ligue 2 following their relegation last year and accompanying points deduction.

Matchday 16 Preview And Predictions

With all the exciting actions set to be back in Ligue 1, here we will make a preview and prediction for the opening game of the matchday.

Ajaccio Vs Angers

To open Ligue 1 matchday 16, two struggling teams, Ajaccio and Angers, go toe to toe. 

Match Preview

Ajaccio needs help as a team and must learn how to make the best of a bad situation. The fact that they are injury-free will be very welcome news for head coach Olivier Panataloni. Only two teams in the league, including Ajaccio, have scored fewer goals than in the games they have played. They only scored 14 goals in 15 games, the same as Auxerre. Despite their struggles to win games and their position in the relegation zone, Ajaccio is defending well.

Meanwhile, Angers’ season has yet to be particularly successful. They only have a few victories and are the only team in league with fewer than ten points, eight. They have the poorest defense in the league and are attempting to organize their attack at the very least to offset how they are routinely giving up goals.

Match Predictions

The two squads are barely distinguishable. If the championships ended today, both would be demoted. Ajaccio will want to maximize the opportunity of playing in front of their supporters for the first game back, while Angers are on a seven-game losing streak. Ajaccio is the favorite to win.

Ligue 1 returns for matchday 16 and will see few actions as teams aim to reconvene and get back their chemistry after the World Cup break. Some teams will be missing players due to injuries sustained during the tournament or lack of physical fitness due to the break. However, the opening game between Angers and Ajaccio promises a lot of action as they both have something to prove in this game.

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