The French League Cup is a knockout cup competition in French football organized by the Ligue de Football Professionnel. The tournament is, unlike the Coupe de France, only open to professional clubs in France, which play in country's top three football divisions.
Who wins the French League Cup 2017/2018?
Paris Saint-Germain have dominated French football in recent years, winning four consecutive Ligue 1 titles between 2012/13 and 2015/16. However, the 2016/17 season saw the league’s competitive nature make a much needed comeback, as PSG, Monaco and OGC Nice battled it out for the title right till the end.
That was also the case in the Coupe de la Ligue, otherwise known as the French League Cup, where PSG and Monaco met in an intense final on April 1st. PSG claimed the cup for a fourth consecutive season, but Monaco will undoubtedly be ready to go again next term.
In fact, the knockout tournament is likely to be a very similar affair to the 2016/17 edition this time round. The tournament will begin with a first and second round, played sometime in August between teams in the second and third tiers of French football. The winners will progress to the third round, where they will be joined by the 14 Ligue 1 teams that aren’t featuring in European competition, before being joined by the remaining six top flight clubs in the following round.
The Coupe de la Ligue will eventually conclude with the final, set to be played on March 31st, 2018. It is likely to be the usual suspects that make it that far, but which teams are most likely to lift the French League Cup trophy?
The competitiveness of Ligue 1 came as a shock to PSG in the early stages of the 2016/17 season, but given their recent history, they still hold the crown as French football’s best side.
They have claimed this trophy on the last four occasions and will be overwhelming favourites to lift it again next season. With the phenomenal Edinson Cavani leading the line, it’s hard to look past them. Despite already possessing an incredibly strong squad, they will know that things won’t quite be so easy anymore and are likely to strengthen in the transfer window, meaning the task of toppling Unai Emery’s side will be even harder next season.
If any side can give PSG a run for their money, it’s Monaco. Their decision to ditch high-profile transfers for up-and-coming youth prospects has worked wonders and they are now emerging as one of Europe’s best attacking sides.
Yet, there is speculation over the future of star wonderkid Kylian Mbappé, who provided an abundance of goals and assists throughout his breakthrough season. Losing the 18-year-old this summer would certain hamper the club’s progression, but they are likely to receive a hefty fee should he leave, which will provide them with the resources to strengthen across the pitch. Spent wisely, Monaco could come back even stronger next term.
Girondins de Bordeaux
While not among the frontrunners in Ligue 1, Bordeaux seem to double their efforts in the French League Cup. They are currently the second most successful team in the history of the competition, having won it three times and finished as runners-up on another three occasions.
It has been eight long years since they last won the tournament, but having reached the semi-final stage in the last two seasons, they could surprise us all by going one step further this time.