PSG to open title defence at Montpellier

13 June 2013 12:16

Paris Saint-Germain will begin their defence of the Ligue 1 title next season against the previous year's champions, Montpellier, according to fixtures for the French top flight published on Thursday.

The capital club have yet to confirm their coach for the upcoming campaign, with Carlo Ancelotti linked with a move to Real Madrid.

The big-spending Parc des Princes outfit will hit the road on the opening day for a challenging tie at 2011/12 league winners Montpellier.

Newly promoted Monaco, who have invested heavily since winning Ligue 2 under Claudio Ranieri and who are tipped to be one of PSG's greatest threats, travel to Bordeaux.

Marseille, who finished second last season, open against another promoted club Guingamp, from the western France region of Brittany.

Lyon, who won their seven French titles in consecutive seasons between 2002 and 2008, kick off with a home tie against south coast outfit Nice at their Stade Gerland.

The fourth round of matches on August 31 will throw Marseille and Monaco together in a match that renews one of the more passionate derbies in France when they meet at the Stade Velodrome.

Monaco host PSG at the Louis II stadium on September 21, while former Champions League semi-finalists and eight-time French champions Nantes -- who return to Ligue 1 after a four- year absence -- will be in Lyon the same weekend.

The weekend of October 5 is worth noting, as Marseille tackle PSG in what is arguably Ligue 1's fiercest rivalry, with the return match in Paris scheduled for the weekend of March 1.

PSG will play Lyon at the Parc des Princes on April 12 with five matches to play before closing out their season with ties against French Cup finalists Evian, Sochaux, Rennes and finally 2011 champions Lille.

Marseille have a difficult run-in with their last five fixtures being played against Montpellier, Lille, Nantes, Lyon and Bordeaux on May 10.

Monaco, meanwhile, can look forward to games against Rennes, Nice, Ajaccio, Guingamp and Valenciennes respectively.

The league takes a winter break from December 21 to January 10.

Source: AFP

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