Monaco may be a little short but still best bet to win Ligue 1

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Given that it is hard to get excited over any other team than PSG and Monaco in Ligue 1 this season, the fact that one of them is available at 5/2 in what is effectively a two-team contest suggests that they are the value call to win the title.

PSG are unsurprisingly the favourites at 4/9 given that they were champions last season and will retain the services of their most influential players, even if David Beckham has decided to retire.

However, their price of 4/9 to win Ligue 1 is not the most enticing, especially as they were only a touch shorter at 1/3 at the start of last season when they stood out immensely as the best team in the division.

The fact that these players have had a year to gel together and the likes of Lucas Moura and Javier Pastore have had time to adapt to their still fairly new surroundings is a big help to their challenge of winning back-to-back titles.

But the circus feel of their efforts to find a new manager to replace Carlo Ancelotti is delaying their preparations for the next campaign and whether it is Fabio Capello, Laurent Blanc or anyone else in the dugout, they may need some time to get their style across.

Meanwhile, the main reason for avoiding PSG at this price is because they have some serious competition this season from Monaco, who have already spent substantially more this summer than the rest of the clubs in Ligue 1 combined.

Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho are major acquisitions and further monumental names may still follow.

With these new signings comes an enhanced possibility of squad upheaval as Zenit found out last season, while Claudio Ranieri will have to ensure that all his new recruits are on the same wavelength on the field.

Fortunately at least, Falcao, Rodriguez and Moutinho have experience of playing together previously when they were all at Porto.

But with a price of 5/2 available on Monaco winning Ligue 1, it is worth risking that everything develops smoothly at the Stade Louis II.

Of the other French challengers, Lyon are likely to be weaker if selling striker Bafetimbi Gomis as expected, Lille manager Rudi Garcia has upped sticks for Roma and Marseille are no better than last season when finishing second.

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

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.