France Ligue 2 – Paris FC Season Preview 2018/19

Paris FC defence

In between the sticks Vincent de Marconnay had a decent year last season. But I wouldn’t consider him that great and there plenty of better keepers than him in this division. Didier Ovono and Christopher Dilo as backup alternatives aren’t bad options, so Paris FC have a satisfactory situation with their custodians. Defence was a major strong point of PFC in 2017/18 but they've lost two regular players from their backline - Herve Lybohy and Ousmane Sidibe. Coming in as new additions are Vincent Rufli who kind of fell out of favour at Dijon and Ousmane Kante from promoted side Beziers. I would say Frederic Bong and Thomas Delaine will now be the key men at the back for the capital club. They have some other decent backups options like Karamoko, Youhou and Bamba. I would expect Paris to be pretty solid in defence and well shielded by good DMID options. Probably their best player in this area of the field is Redouane Kerrouche, someone who has caught the eye of a few bigger teams. The likes of Ogou Akichi, Mandouki and Bougrine make up a solid spine in the middle of the park where they should be hard to break down again.

Key players - David Douline (DR/RM), Redouane Kerrouche (DM)

Paris FC offense

It's a big blow that they've lost top scorer Malik Tchokounte to Ligue 1 side Caen. He netted 12 goals last season, nearly a third of their overall total. Paris FC have signed four attack minded players and it will be interesting to see how they get on. Yannick Mamilonne is on loan from Amiens, a big target man who can be a nuisance if in the mood. Adama Sarr comes in from relegated side Bourg-en-Bresse. He netted ten times last year and was especially strong in the second half of the campaign so could be useful. Garland Gbelle and Fabien Ourega come in from lower league clubs and I know little about them. Key players in attack that remain from last season are left winger Lalaina Nomenjanahary and striker Dylan St Louis. I quite rate both of these guys although they have a tendency to be fairly inconsistent. Paris FC only scored 46 goals last season, a total which only beat 4 other teams, most of whom were relegated. Whether they improve on that tally I’m doubtful, especially with the loss of Tchakounte. There is a sprinkling of talent for them in the final third of field but not enough to worry anyone too much.

Key players - Lalaina Nomenjanahary (LW), Dylan St Louis (ATT)

Coaching, other factors & conclusion

Paris FC had a tremendous previous campaign in which for a long period of time threatened a shock promotion. They only lost 3 of their first 23 games before eventually tailing off. PFC had one of the best defences in the league and were superbly led by Fabien Mercadal. He caught the eye so much that Ligue 1 side Caen decided to hire him as a manager. This means Paris FC have been forced into a coaching change this summer. The capital club have gone with highly experienced Mecha Bazdarevic who was last in French football six years ago. Since then he has mostly managed the Bosnian National team. I remember plenty about this coach and he is best known for taking Grenoble up to Ligue 1 about a decade ago. Bazdarevic is usually a highly cautious manager and his teams don't tend to score many goals. Maybe that will change now but overall he probably fits fairly well into this club because the strength of the team is in defensive areas. Compared to last season not much will change in my opinion. They will probably struggle to score goals overall, but at the back remain pretty solid. Because Paris FC overachieved last season I think it's realistic to expect them to move back into the middle of the pack this year. In fact, they could even be a dark horse to get sucked into the relegation battle. I see them regressing in terms of points anyway and the team will probably go backwards instead of forward. They won't be very exciting to watch due to the negative new coach and the main strength of the team being in defensive areas.

Prediction - Lower midtable