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Ligue 2: with Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux, the climb will be more difficult than ever?

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With the relegations of Bordeaux and ASSE, Ligue 2 welcomes two new serious contenders for the rise at the end of the season. With a dozen clubs having evolved in Ligue 1 in recent years, the race for accession to the upper level promises to be tougher than ever (pending the passage of Ligue 1 to 18 clubs next season). The TFC may have chosen the right year to go up.

Traffic jam in sight! With only two tickets for the rise in Ligue 1 and the overwhelming presence of the monuments of French football Bordeaux and Saint-Étienne, the 2022-2023 Ligue 2 season starts on Saturday in an unprecedented competitive climate.

“We have a goal to be at the top of the table, but we know that this season there are only two who go up to L1 and there is heavy around us”, summed up the Paris coach. FC Thierry Laurey in the columns of Parisian.

From the 2023-2024 season, Ligue 1 will indeed increase to 18 clubs (against 20 currently) and in order not to deprive the Ligue 2 teams of climbs, only two sesames for the elite will be put into play. , four clubs will descend from L1 at the end of this season and will strengthen an already very strong second division.

For many suitors, it’s now or never to climb to the first rung. Many will therefore have the same ambition as the PFC, starting with the heavyweights Bordeaux and Saint-Étienne, two historic clubs in the French Championship which had not known the second division since 1992 and 2004 respectively.

More attractive and much richer than their Ligue 2 competitors, these two monuments of French football should engage in a duel from a distance and are in theory expected at the top of the rankings.

Not an easy task for the Girondins, six-time champions of France, whose recruitment has been greatly disrupted in recent weeks by the risk of an administrative demotion in National. Until then, only Yoann Barbet (QPR) and Vital Nsimba (Clermont) have come to strengthen the workforce.

Drafted in extremis Wednesday by the FFF but still in financial difficulty, the FCGB must “go back up as quickly as possible”, explained its president-owner Gérard Lopez, in particular to take care of its accounts. He will meet on Saturday at home against Valenciennes.

Many more suitors

On the side of Saint-Etienne, the new coach Laurent Batlles refused Thursday to consider the Greens as “favorites” at the comeback, especially since the club starts the season with three penalty points following the overflows of the dam lost against Auxerre last May. “There are many more contenders today,” defender Anthony Briançon warned. The results of the first matches will therefore be “primary”, he added.

“It’s a championship that we know is very difficult, even more so this year perhaps with two great teams that have gone down,” confirmed FC Metz assistant coach Christophe Delmotte. The Grenats, accustomed to the L1-L2 lift, will have to garner as many points as possible at home to “seek these lift places”, he explains.

Behind these regulars of the L1, Sochaux, Le Havre and the PFC among others, all very active on the transfer market and eager to climb, will sell their skin very dearly. Just like Caen, who can count on the experienced Romain Thomas, who arrived this summer from Angers after seven seasons in the top flight. From August 20, he will cross paths with his former teammate Vincent Manceau, recently enlisted by Guingamp.

The previous edition of the championship had been fiercely contested, revealing the identity of the promoted and the play-offs, with the exception of the champion Toulouse, only at the end of the final day. But unlike last year, viewers won’t be able to enjoy the majority of the show in the clear.

The multiplex, broadcast free of charge by the L’Equipe channel in 2021-2022 in a context of uncertainty over the allocation of rights, is on Amazon Prime Video. Only one meeting of this same multiplex will remain accessible on the L’Equipe channel.

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