Ligue 1’s Underdogs: Dark Horses to Watch Out For this Season


Ligue 1, the top-tier professional football league in France, is home to some of the world’s most talented players and successful teams. While the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Olympique Lyon, and AS Monaco often dominate the headlines and expectations, there are a few underdog teams that deserve attention for their potential to shake things up this season. Let’s take a closer look at these Ligue 1 dark horses to watch out for.

1. Angers SCO:
Angers SCO has consistently punched above its weight in recent years, finishing in the top half of the table multiple times. Under the guidance of Stephane Moulin, the team has developed a strong defensive foundation and exciting attacking options. With the right mix of experienced players and promising talents, Angers SCO has the potential to cause surprises and push for a European qualification spot.

2. Stade de Reims:
Stade de Reims returned to Ligue 1 in 2018 after a long absence, and since then, they have steadily improved under manager David Guion. Known for their disciplined approach and solid defensive displays, Reims offers a tough challenge to any opponent. The team’s excellent recruitment policy and ability to develop young talents make them a genuine dark horse this season.

3. FC Metz:
After being promoted from Ligue 2 last season, FC Metz has quickly shown their resilience and ambition in the top flight. Under the guidance of manager Frederic Antonetti, the team has exceeded expectations with an attractive style of play and a strong defensive record. With the right momentum, FC Metz could defy expectations and challenge for a place in European competitions.

4. Montpellier HSC:
Montpellier is no stranger to springing surprises in Ligue 1. The 2011-2012 season saw them clinch the league title against all odds. Since then, they have often been overshadowed by bigger clubs but have consistently remained a competitive team. With attacking talents like Gaetan Laborde and Stephy Mavididi, paired with a solid defense, Montpellier has the potential to be a genuine dark horse this season.

5. RC Lens:
After an absence of five years, RC Lens returned to Ligue 1 last season with a strong finish securing a mid-table position. Coach Franck Haise has instilled a fighting spirit within the team, which is evident in their performances. Lens boasts an exciting blend of youthful exuberance and experienced heads, making them a team to keep an eye on this season.

While these teams may not have the financial power or worldwide recognition of their more illustrious competitors, their ability to challenge and surprise the established hierarchy cannot be underestimated. Ligue 1 is known for its unpredictability, and these dark horses have proven time and again that they have what it takes to upset the odds.

The 2021-2022 Ligue 1 season promises to be another thrilling ride, and the underdogs mentioned above should not be overlooked. Their quest for success and the excitement they bring to the pitch will undoubtedly make them fascinating teams to watch out for. So, keep an eye on these dark horses, as they may just steal the spotlight and make Ligue 1 a competition to remember.

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