Can Anyone Challenge Luis Enrique's PSG Reboot? – beIN SPORTS

Another season and another reboot for PSG. 
12 months ago, the club unveiled a brand new coach, brand new signings and a self-confessed ‘no bling’ philosophy both on and off the pitch. Although the Ligue 1 title was won comfortably, the Champions League campaign was disastrous with irate fans booing Lionel Messi, the scapegoat of a perception in the prickly Parc de Prince stands of a club led by superstars with no soul. 
A course correction sees the arrival of the cantankerous but heavyweight Luis Enrique taking over from the one-season wonder of Christophe Galtier. The former Barcelona boss will need to work fast to dispel his last entry into the collective memory, which was leading the sideways-passing Spain out of the World Cup.  
Luis Enrique’s own introduction to the complexities of PSG was instant. Although Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos are out, the Spaniard is planning for the new season without clarity on whether it will be with or without Kylian Mbappe and the 41 goals he scored in all competitions last season.
While there is uncertainty up front, the defense has been fortified with the arrival of Milan Skriniar and Lucas Hernandez. With Marquinhos in the mix along with the flying fullbacks of Achraf Hakimi and Nuno Mendes, this could be the best PSG back-line in years.  
Uruguayan midfielder, Manuel Ugarte, has arrived to add defensive bite and Marco Asensio might turn out to be a sterling signing on a free transfer from Real Madrid. Ousmane Dembele’s return to France will ask the same questions as in LaLiga. Will he be fit and will he be consistent?
With or without Mbappe, PSG remain favorites for the Ligue 1 title. But with so many potential moves in the transfer market to come, it is unclear how far all these changes will take PSG in what really matters to them, the Champions League. 
Unlike their title rivals of PSG and Marseille, the philosophy of Lens has been sure and steady planning. After winning promotion to Ligue 1 in 2020, the northern side put together back-to-back seventh-place finishes before storming into second place last season. 
The coaching mastermind behind this success, Franck Haise, is back for another campaign despite tempting offers, however, he has a tough time recovering from being the victim of his own success.
Two key components of Lens’ success last season have gone. The inspirational midfield captain Seko Fofana has left for Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr while goal scorer Lois Openda moved to RB Leipzig, after the Belgian forward’s 21 Ligue 1 goals put Lens into the Champions League. 
Lens have been smart cookies in the transfer market in the past, but being able to replace so many key figures in just one transfer window will be at the heart of whether the club can take advantage of endless instability at their title rivals to take the next step by clinching the Ligue 1 title. 
Rather like PSG, another season, another change of coach, another new look. The giant Igor Tudor left just when fans were starting to warm to him, despite a soft center to his team. Marseille lost four of the team’s last five Ligue 1 games to see an unacceptable third-place finish in the standings and ended up with four defeats from all four games against Lens and PSG.  
The well-travelled Spanish coach, Marcelino takes over and he should be well rested after taking a year out after his last gig at Athletic Bilbao. This will be Marcelino’s eleventh team as manager but his first time coaching outside of Spain. The Velodrome will be quite the baptism of fire. 
The frontline has been shaken up. To date there is no word on if Alexis Sanchez will be renewing his contract and Dmitri Payet has left the club. The flagship signing is one with a lot to prove with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joining after just 550 Premier League minutes with Chelsea last season. Without a Ligue 1 title victory since 2010 and Montpellier, Lille and Monaco all winning the crown since as well as PSG, patience is running very thin in Marseille. 

Catch Ligue 1 exclusively on beIN SPORTS from Friday August 11th. 








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