Defenders to Watch During the Coming Ligue 1 Season

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Defenders to Watch During the Coming Ligue 1 Season
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

This article profiles the finest defenders in the French Ligue 1.

The league is only two games old, but already familiar fault lines have been drawn. Traditional heavyweights Lyon, Marseille and Saint-Etienne find themselves in the top spots, along with moneyed Monaco, while unfancied Guingamp are rooted to the table’s foot.

Perhaps the sole surprise is Paris Saint-Germain’s sluggish opening. The capital giants have only managed two draws in their first games and are already four points off the pace.

In recent history, the league has developed a fine reputation for producing excellent defenders—men who have typically learned their trade in the French leagues before moving on to bigger things.

Patrice Evra, Etienne Capoue and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa are just three defensive stars to have transferred their talents to foreign shores after serving their apprenticeship. The failures—men like Stephane Mbia—are relatively rare in comparison.

This article covers both young players set for a big year in Ligue 1 and established stars who will surely have a major influence throughout the season.

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