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Ligue 1: Reigning champions PSG likely to shorten from 2/7

| 09.10.2013

Money’s influence on football has never has never been in doubt, but nowhere does it speak quite so loudly as in Ligue 1.

Only goal difference separates Monaco and PSG – funded to the tune off 276.6 million euros between them this summer – at the summit of France’s top tier, but it’s the side from the capital who have the stronger title claims.

It says much for the squads the two have assembled that third-favourite Marseille, just four points back after nine games, are priced at 40/1 to win the league.

The current champions are 2/7 to retain their prize, while newly-promoted Monaco are 11/4 to displace the Hexagoal from its current home.

After opening the campaign with two draws PSG have since won eight of nine in all competitions, and with just three goals conceded in their last eight one suspects that their current price is likely to shorten rather than lengthen from here on in.

Delving further into the sides’ respective records offers disappointingly few clues. Both have conceded just five goals to date, and both went to Marseille’s famously unforgiving Stade Velodrome and left with a 2-1 win.

In addition, the sides shared the spoils in their recent clash at the Parc des Princes, with the two of the most expensive acquisitions in French football – and respective symbols of their clubs – Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Radamel Falcao registering.

However, one is inclined to favour PSG for the title due to the depth of their squad. An injury to 60 million-euro striker Radamel Falcao, scorer of seven goals in nine league games so far, would surely prove hugely damaging for the team from the principality, while PSG are able to replace Ibrahimovic with 64-million euro and record French transfer Edinson Cavani in the number nine position.

The Parisians also boast a league-winning manager in Laurent Blanc, who took Bordeaux to Le Championnat in 2009. While no doubt a capable coach, Monaco manager Claudio Ranieri is very much one of football’s nearly men, having never won a major European league title after much lower-league success.

With 1/5 of the odds for a top two finish, the aforementioned Marseille (runners-up last term) have lots of appeal at 40s, though they’re probably reliant on one of the current leading two slipping up – with Monaco surely the more likely.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Toby Calnan