Can Claudio Ranieri win AS Monaco the Ligue 1 title?by Jack Kitson / 08 August 2013, 09:28Tweet
AS Monaco begin their assault on Ligue 1 on Saturday at Bordeaux, as they attempt to oust PSG and become the French Champions for the first time since 2000. The man spearheading their charge is former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri who led them to the Ligue 2 title in May during his first season in charge. The Italian has splashed the cash this summer and it is safe to say that expectations are extremely high in Monaco.
The mega rich club are owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev (who took over in late 2011) and they have already showcased their intent by luring the in-demand Columbian, Radamel Falcaom, over to France, despite competition from a number of Europe's top clubs. Meanwhile the likes of Joao Moutinho, James Rodríguez, Ricardo Carvalho, Eric Abidal and Jeremy Toulalan have also joined the exciting outfit.
Les Monegasques are widely regarded as PSG's main challengers for the Ligue 1 title, although Marseille and Lyon will also likely be in the mix. Defending champions PSG are the hot 2/7 odds-on favourites to retain their trophy, while Monaco can be backed at a tempting 7/2 (Ladbrokes), although they may be slightly hindered by a possible two points deduction.
Realistically, as was the case with PSG who were piped to the Ligue 1 title by surprise outfit Montpellier in 2011/12, it will take some time for the new influx of top quality players to mould together and become a lethal cohesive unit. However, Ranieri undoubtedly has an immense collection of players at his disposal, and last weekend they showed how strong they are already by pummelling Tottenham 5-2, with Falcao grabbing a brace. These are undoubtedly exciting times in the France and if Monaco can mount a serious title challenge we have an enthralling season to look forward to.
AS Monaco 2013/14 Odds
- 7/2 To win Ligue 1 (Ladbrokes)
- 5/1 To win Coupe De France (Paddy Power)