PSG face Clermont in Ligue 1 opener as promoted trio face tough tests

·2-min read

Paris Saint-Germain will be expected to make a winning start to their Ligue 1 title defence, while each of the newly promoted teams will receive a tough examination of their credentials on the opening weekend.

It may not be clear who will be managing PSG when the new season starts, but PSG know the identity of their opponents, with the champions set to travel to face Clermont Foot on the weekend of August 6 and 7.

That same weekend will see Auxerre, the 1995-96 champions back in the top flight after 10 seasons in the second tier, visit the team PSG deposed, Lille.

Toulouse are back after two seasons away and will open their campaign at home against Nice, who finished fifth last season.

Fellow new boys Ajaccio, playing at this level for the first time since 2013-14, will be on the road against seven-time champions Lyon.

Marseille will have ambitions of narrowing the 15-point gap to arch rivals PSG from last season and begin that quest at home to Reims. Another of PSG's potential challengers, Monaco, visit Strasbourg.

The first Classique between PSG and Marseille will take place at the Parc des Princes on October 16, the return fixture at the Stade Velodrome scheduled for February 26.

Lille host PSG on the third weekend of the season before Monaco take the trip to the capital a week later.

Marseille face Lyon and Monaco in their only two fixtures in November before the World Cup. The second Choc des Olympiques of the season between Lyon and Marseille will be held at the Groupama Stadium on April 23.

PSG's final game before the World Cup seems them welcome Auxerre.

Having opened their campaign at Clermont, a home clash for PSG against the same opposition will round off a season which most anticipate will be a procession to an outright record 11th league title for Lionel Messi, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Co.

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