The 2022/23 Ligue 1 campaign kicks off on Friday evening with few expecting more than a grand scrap for the minor places as Paris Saint-Germain cruise to a ninth title in 11 seasons.
PSG under Mauricio Pochettino were in a class of their own last season, as they made amends for Lille's shock title triumph a year earlier.
The Parisians lost only four times in the league as they sailed home with a 15-point advantage over second-placed Marseille, who, like Monaco, Lyon and a few others, will be looking to at least lay down some sort of a challenge to the defending champions.
But odds of 1/10 for PSG suggest second place is about the best any of their rivals can hope for.
Ligue 1, 2022/23
5th August 2022 - 3rd June 2023
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PSG 1/10, Marseille 11/1, Lyon 14/1, Monaco 20/1, Rennes 25/1
It's all change at the Parc des Princes, where Pochettino has ultimately paid the price for the club's last-16 Champions League exit and been sent on his way, to be replaced by Christophe Galtier.
Galtier is a career Ligue 1 coach - PSG are the sixth club he has taken charge of - and while it was seen as something of an unassuming appointment in such a glamorous role, his recent record is better than decent.
It was Galtier who masterminded Lille's shock league triumph two seasons back and then went off to Nice, who he improved from ninth the year before to fifth in May.
He's already won his first piece of silverware - PSG hammered Nantes 4-0 to win the Trophee des Champions - but he basically has two jobs to do.
The first is keep the holy trinity of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar fit and firing, because if they are, Ligue 1 glory takes care of itself.
Between them that trio scored 57 league goals last season - more than Nice - and that was despite Messi struggling to make a real impact.
Galtier's second challenge is to make a tilt at the Champions League, which is a consideration for the spring, by which time he will hope his side already have one hand on the Ligue 1 trophy - while PSG are 11/2 to be crowned champions of Europe.
If second place truly is the only battle in town at the top end of Ligue 1, then it looks like it's shaping up to be a belter based on the prices.
Marseille, second last term, are 5/2 in betting without PSG, followed by Lyon at 11/4, Monaco at 7/2, Rennes at 11/2 and Nice at 13/2.
The big change - and possibly negative - at the Stade Velodrome is that Marseille have swapped impressive head coach Jorge Sampaoli with ex-Croatia international Igor Tudor, who did well at Verona but has never coached in France.
Transfer business at Marseille has hardly been inspiring and it wouldn't take much for a club that always seems to be on the cusp of a crisis to star stuttering.
Lyon are going to be improvers after last season's dismal eighth-place finish which means no European football this time for Peter Bosz, who has been backed to turn transition into trophies.
The re-signings of old favourites Alexandre Lacazette and Corentin Tolisso are sizeable statements, while this could be the year of the emergence of Rayan Cherki as well as a couple more academy aces.
Lyon are 11/10 to finish in the top three, where Lens could be a wildcard at 12/1 after an unbeaten pre-season - including shutouts against Inter Milan and West Ham - and a summer overhaul under Franck Haise.
Even before a ball has been kicked, teams who fear being at the wrong end of the league know it will be harder than ever to survive with four sides going down this year - French football chiefs want an 18-team top division from next season.
Newly-promoted Ajaccio at 1/2 look nailed on for one of those four berths while Auxerre - who also came up - are 1/1.
There's a case to be made for quite a number of clubs, including Angers at 11/4, who have had the heart ripped out of them with mainstays like Vincent Manceau, Ismael Traore, Thomas Mangani, Angelo Fulgini and Jimmy Cabot all leaving the club.
More than ever they look like they are reliant on Sofiane Boufal and that appears to be quite a precarious position to be in.
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