Monaco and Lyon biggest threat to PSG domestic dominance

After a historic 2014-15 season Paris Saint-Germain will attempt to again achieve domestic perfection, but the likes of Lyon and Monaco are threatening a change of the guard.

PSG claimed an unprecedented treble in France by winning Ligue 1, the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue last season, while also lifting the Trophee des Champions.

Worryingly for PSG's rivals, Laurent Blanc appears set to bolster his squad with the addition of Angel di Maria from Manchester United, while goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and midfielder Benjamin Stambouli have also made moves to the Parc des Princes.

Di Maria endured a difficult time of it during his debut campaign in the Premier League, but his pace and creativity should make him a star in Ligue 1.

There was been speculation over the future of talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who continues to be linked with Milan and Manchester United, but the Sweden captain has stressed that he will remain at PSG for the 2015-16 campaign.

The likes of Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi provide Blanc with world-class attacking options even if Ibrahimovic does depart and they remain favourites for the title once again.

PSG laid down a marker for the season by beating Lyon 2-0 to defend the Trophee des Champions in Saturday's curtain-raiser and that bodes well for a tricky league opener at Lille.

Blanc's men by no means had it all their own way last term. Six draws in their opening nine games allowed Marseille to set the early pace, while Lyon provided a sustained challenge before falling away and finishing eight points adrift in second.

Lyon coach Hubert Fournier admitted he was "worried" by the club's pre-season form, which included a 6-0 loss to Arsenal in the Emirates Cup - a game that also resulted in Clement Grenier being ruled out for four months with a thigh injury

However, Claudio Beauvue arrived at the Stade de Gerland having scored 27 goals in all competitions for Guingamp last term and, perhaps more importantly, Alexandre Lacazette - Ligue 1's top scorer last term - is set to line up against Lorient on Saturday having been linked with a move during the transfer window.

It is Monaco who are fancied by many to challenge PSG, though, having finished strongly to secure third spot last term.

After losing 2-0 to Rennes in November, Leonardo Jardim's men lost just two more matches in the league and sealed a spot in the UEFA Champions League.

A lack of goals was Monaco's problem in 2014-15, with the club managing just 51 - some 32 fewer than PSG.

Italy international Stephan El Shaarawy has arrived from Milan to help try and alleviate that problem and if Monaco can build on a defence that shipped just 26 goals last term, they should be a threat.

There have been plenty of changes at Marseille, with Andre-Pierre Gignac, Andre Ayew, Giannelli Imbula and Dimitri Payet all leaving.

Coach Marcelo Bielsa faces a tough job of repeating last season's fourth-placed finish in the absence of that quartet, but the signings of Lassana Diarra and Abou Diaby provide quality in midfield.

The likes of Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux and Lille will all hope to muscle their way into the top four and guarantee European football, while top-flight new boys Troyes, Gazelec Ajaccio and Angers are tasked with ensuring their respective stays in Ligue 1 are not brief.

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