5 Storylines for the Opening Ligue 1 Matches of 2014

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5 Storylines for the Opening Ligue 1 Matches of 2014
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Ligue 1 returned to action on Wednesday as Saint-Etienne beat Evian 1-0, but a full calendar of fixtures take place for the first time in 2014 on Friday with the title race, battle for European places and fight against relegation all finely poised ahead of the second half of the season.

Paris Saint-Germain are the clear favourites at the top of the table, but Laurent Blanc's men are being eagerly pursued by big-spending Monaco and Rene Girard's Lille.

Meanwhile, Bordeaux, Saint-Etienne, Marseille, Nantes and Reims are all in contention for a place in Europe.

At the bottom, Ajaccio look doomed, but there is still hope of survival for Sochaux and Valenciennes, with Montpellier nervously looking over their shoulders.

A number of this weekend's fixtures could have a large bearing on the battles at both the top and bottom of the table. Here are five storylines for the opening Ligue 1 matches of 2014.

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