Ligue 1 Preview: Can anyone hang with Paris Saint-Germain?
As expected, Paris Saint-Germain dominated Ligue 1 last season, winning the title with five games to spare. Opponents have it all to do to catch the champions.
Lyon, Monaco and Marseille are expected to put up a stronger challenge this time around. But that will be an uphill task given the strength and financial muscle of the reigning champions. On the continent, Marseille reached the Europa League final last term. Achieving Champions League qualification will be Rudi Garcia's concern this time around.
Toulouse and Lille struggled to maintain topflight status in the last campaign. For Le Téfécé, survival required a playoff win. Stade Rennais was the surprise package. Les Rouges et Noirs finished fifth, ahead of Bordeaux, St Etienne and OGC Nice.
Here's a look at all 20 teams.
Manager: Christopher Pelissier
Last season: 13th
Season outlook: A dramatic last-gasp winning goal secured promotion to the French top flight for the first time in club history 15 months ago. Against all odds, Amiens stayed up last season. Christophe Pélissier has been with the side since 2015. The Frenchman will have a big job on his hands keeping the club up for the second successive season.
Remaining needs: After losing key players like midfielder Tanguy Ndombele to Lyon and centre forward Lacina Traore to Monaco, the club has done good business. The question is whether it will be sufficient.
Manager: Stephane Moulin
Last season: 14th
Remaining needs: Top striker Karl Toko Ekambi signed with Villarreal. The club needs a top class striker.
Season outlook: Angers expect to consolidate after a strong campaign in 2017/18. Their survival last season was boosted by Ekambi's 17 goals.
Stéphane Moulin has been with the side since 2005, when he managed the B team. He was promoted to the first team in 2011, then led the side to Ligue 1 promotion in 2015. Stability may work in the team's favour as they push for an improvement on a table finish.
Manager: Fabien Mercadal
Last season: 16th
Remaining needs: With centre backs Florian Le Joncour and Damien Da Silva gone, the club needs more experience than 20-year-old signing Issa Marega can offer.
Season outlook: Former Paris FC manager Fabien Mercadal has been brought in to improve the team. Caen face champions PSG in the season opener on Sunday. After narrowly avoiding relegation last season, a strong start would have done much. Against the champions, that's unlikely.
Manager: Olivier Dall'ogio
Last season: 11th
Remaining needs: Xeka,Naïm Sliti and experienced centre back Papybodji. Dijon are another French club who lost good players to stronger sides. Replacements are needed.
Season outlook: Last year's finish was five places better than 2016/17. With the player exodus, another mid-table finish will be the best Olivier Dall’Oglio’s men can expect to muster.
Manager: Gus Poyet
Last season: 6th
Remaining needs: Les Girondins must replace Brazilian winger Malcom who made a dream move to Barcelona this summer.
Season outlook: Bordeaux had a relatively good season. Climbing higher will be difficult. Poyet is yet to achieve further substantial success in his management career since his initial heroics with Brighton & Hove Albion whom he led to Championship promotion.
Manager: Antoine Kombouare
Last season: 12th
Remaining needs: Benjamin Angoua's departure leaves a gaping hole in central defence.
Season outlook: Guingamp remains a mid-table club, as it's been for Kombouare's two years in charge. The club finished 10th and 12th respectively. That should remain the pattern under the former PSG gaffer.
Manager: Christophe Galtier
Last season: 17th
Season outlook: Marcelo Bielsa’s appointment in 2017 was supposed to take Lille to the next level. Things went south instead. The club is yet to fully recover. Les Dogues barely escaped relegation last season. Christophe Galtier has a tough job on his hands restoring the team to the table's top half.
Remaining needs: Last season's failure led to a massive overhaul. New additions include Loic Remy, Jonathan Ikone, Jonathan Bamba, Xeca, Jose Fonte and Eder. Can the manager fuse them into a winning squad?
Manager: Bruno Genesio
Last season: 3rd
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Remaining needs: Lyon brought in several players to strengthen the squad. Lacking PSG's financial might makes it a generic group. Holding on to Nabil Fekir is imperative.
Season outlook: Les Gones battled Monaco for second last term. Bruno Genesio faces a challenge to do it again. Marseille is breathing down Lyon's neck. Nice and Bordeaux are ready to pounce. There's no room to slip up.
Manager: Rudi Garcia
Last season: 4th
Remaining needs: Garcia maintained and added to his core. They can target a Champions league place but a title challenge requires two more top recruits.
Season outlook: Their Europa League final was not an accident. Marseille are ambitious. Garcia's side will push Monaco and Lyon to the brink for a Champions League place this campaign.
Manager: Leonardo Jardim
Last season: 2nd
Remaining needs: Monaco's problem remains the same. Whip the new recruits into shape quickly, then hope enough stay to maintain their Champions League status.
Season outlook: After stunning PSG to lift the league title in 2017, Monaco settled for second-best last term. With the pattern of losing key players every season now set, the club has recruited an army of players as replacements. Led by Russia's Aleksandr Golovin, the group will be hard-pressed to fill the void left by Thomas Lemar, Fabinho et al.
Manager: Michel der Zakarian
Last season: 10th
Remaining needs: With both centre backs and forwards leaving the club, der Zakarian's squad is blunted.
Season outlook: The days of Laurent Blanc, Eric Cantona, Roger Milla and even Olivier Giroud turning out in Montpellier's colours are distant memories. La Paillade still harbour ambitions to do well. Since winning it's first Ligue 1 title in 2012, the club has settled for mid-table finishes. That will continue into this season.
Manager: Miguel Cardoso
Last season: 9th
Remaining needs: The club recruited extensively. That comes with its own problems, especially when good first team players have been let go.
Season outlook: Nantes may have thought of following Leicester City's example by hiring Claudio Ranieri. The relationship was cut short with results not as dramatic. Miguel Cardoso will push for a higher finish this season.
Manager: Patrick Vieira
Last season: 8th
Remaining needs: High-profile departures like Jean Michaël Seri, Alassane Pléa and Marlon leave Vieira with a suspect defence.
Season outlook: After finishing third two seasons ago, Nice regressed last campaign. No surprise then that Patrick Vieira was brought in to lead another push for European football. It remains to be seen how the former French international will fare in his first management job in Europe.
Manager: Bernard Blaquart
Last season: 2nd Ligue 2, Promoted
Remaining needs: More experienced players are needed to help the club survive in the top flight.
Season outlook: The Ligue 1 newcomers have made some new signings but also lost two of their best to Nice and Lyon. Naturally, they are relegation candidates. Bernard Blaquart’s biggest task will be to prevent that, then prove he's not really a villain at all.
Manager: Thomas Tuchel
Last season: Ligue 1 champions
Remaining needs: The club's biggest needs were a manager who can deliver the Champions League and a top-class goalkeeper. New manager Thomas Tuchel joined this summer with Gigi Buffon only a few weeks behind.
Season outlook: The league champions are set to dominate for many more seasons to come. They are the team to beat and quite frankly look unbeatable at the moment. Tuchel has signalled intent to improve on Unai Emery's work. He has started with the Trophée des Champions, beating Monaco 4-0.
The league title is a foregone conclusion. The focus has to be European progress.
Manager: Sabri Lamouchi
Last season: 5th
Remaining needs: With star players like Sanjin Prcic and Joris Gnagnon snapped up by La Liga sides, the club still strengthened. The question is whether the new players will hit the ground running.
Season outlook: The surprise package of last season, Rennes are aiming to go one better and make the Champions League. It's a step too far with their current personnel, however. Mid-table will be challenging enough with Europa league football threatening to distract the side from the main task at hand.
Manager: David Guion
Last season: Ligue 2 champions, Promoted
Remaining needs: A top-class striker will provide the goals necessary for survival.
Season outlook: The six-time French champions are back in Ligue 1 after a two-year absence but they have lost star striker Jordan Siebatcheu to Rennes. Relegation looms without an adequate replacement.
Manager: Jean-Louis Gassett
Last season: 7th
Remaining needs: Selling key players like Saidy Janko and Remy Cabella requires reinvestment.
Season outlook: Jean-Louis Gassett's men finished seventh last season.St Etienne can improve with Wahbi Khazri, Jorginho, and the other recruits strengthening the squad.
Manager: Thierry Laury
Last season: 15th
Remaining needs: Bakary Koné, Jean-Eudes Aholou and Dimitri Foulquier have left the club without adequate replacements.
Season outlook: Strasbourg laboured to 15th last season. Thierry Laury’s side will battle it out against relegation this time as matters stand.
Manager: Alain Casanova
Last season: 18th
Remaining needs: By now, you know the tune. Lack of adequate replacements for players sold may cost the club its topflight status this season.
Season outlook: Toulouse finished third from bottom last season with 37 points from 38 games and had to navigate a playoff against Ajaccio to stay up. Then the club sold some of its best players, from club captain Issa Diop to striker Andy Delort and winger Max Gradel. To lose, or not Toulouse, that is the Shakespearian tragedy.