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Ligue 1 preview: PSG seeking powerhouse status

9 August 2012 07:25

Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has warned rivals that the capital club's big signings will improve throughout the season.

PSG are set to begin a season considered by many as a foregone conclusion when they host Lorient in their Ligue 1 opener on Saturday.

Head coach Carlo Ancelotti has brought in the likes of Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi since last season to improve an already expensive squad that finished second in 2011/12.

PSG impressed in their last friendly before the season, drawing 2-2 with Barcelona, and Ibrahimovic is convinced his new team-mates will build up steam as the year progresses.

"We showed that we have what it takes to mix it with a huge team," Ibrahimovic said.

"The more we play, the better we'll get."

Reigning champions Montpellier will get the new season underway on Friday with the visit of Toulouse.

Montpellier coach Rene Girard will have to do without three of his main midfielders against Toulouse, with Younes Belhanda and Anthony Mounier injured, while Marco Estrada is suspended after his red card in the Trophee des Champions match held last month.

Girard's other main concern will be how his side manage without Olivier Giroud, after Ligue 1's top goal-scorer from last season left for Arsenal.

Lille will have to wait a week to play their first match at their new stadium as they travel to St Etienne on Saturday.

With Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard having transferred to Chelsea in the close season, Lille's main focus will be on who will score their goals.

The club based near the France-Belgium border scored the second-highest number of goals in Ligue 1 last term and have brought in Marvin Martin from Sochaux and Salomon Kalou from Chelsea to help out in the forward third.

Rennes will host Lyon in a match that pits two of last season's top-six sides against each other, while Evian's meeting with Bordeaux should also be an interesting game.

Promoted sides Bastia, Reims and Troyes will take on Sochaux, Marseille and Valenciennes respectively.

In other opening-round fixtures, Nancy will host Brest and Ajaccio travel to Nice.

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Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
1 14 +17 31
2 14 +18 30
3 14 +16 27
4 14 +4 24
5 14 +3 24
6 14 +1 23
7 14 +2 22
8 14 +1 20
9 14 +0 20
10 14 -7 19
11 14 -2 18
12 14 -3 18
13 14 -2 17
14 13 -3 16
15 14 -6 14
16 14 -2 13
17 14 -6 13
18 13 -10 13
19 14 -15 12
20 14 -6 11

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