Paris Saint-Germain did not take losing the French title lying down and few will oppose them in the Ligue 1 title race this term following a world-record transfer swoop for Neymar.
After four years at the top, finishing eight points behind Monaco was clearly tough to handle for the capital city aristocrats and their mega-rich Qatar-based investors.
The near-£200million coup to snatch Neymar from Barcelona came after PSG had already recruited dashing full-backs Dani Alves and Yuri Berchiche.
Adding those new recruits to an already-talented squad featuring the likes of Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria, Julian Draxler, Thiago Silva and Thiago Motta should ensure a return to the summit.
It is little wonder PSG have been cut to 4/25 in the Ligue 1 2017/18 title odds, with Monaco eased out to 11/2.
Monaco rocked by summer sales
The defending champions delighted their fans and neutral supporters with a swashbuckling style of play last season, outscoring PSG by 24 goals.
Sadly, Leonardo Jardim saw his side ravaged during the transfer window as richer European giants picked off some of the most prized assets.
Manchester City lured away Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva and Chelsea swooped for Tiemoue Bakayoko, while Kylian Mbappe continues to be the subject of much speculation.
Money has been spent on replacements, but Anderlecht midfielder Youri Tielemans and Feyenoord defender Terence Kongolo have yet to prove they are in the same class.
Marseille ready to move up table
With such seismic waves affecting last term’s top two, the debate has switched to whether Monaco can hold on for second this time around.
Marseille’s fortunes seem to rise and fall with great regularity and this has been a more positive summer on the south coast.
Although only fifth last season, Rudi Garcia’s side signed off with an 11-match unbeaten run and have spent big in a bid to build on that strong finish.
Newcastle winger Florian Thauvin and Tottenham forward Clinton N’Jie have hit the ground running after joining the Stade Velodrome revolution alongside Dimitri Payet and Patrice Evra.
This is now a squad boasting an excellent blend of youth and experience, while Garcia commands huge respect for his past work at Lille and Roma.
Marseille can be backed at 13/4 in the betting market without PSG and 21/20 to finish in the top three, with both prices worthy of support.
Diony departure to hurt Dijon
Down at the other end of the table, 5/2 for Dijon to finish in the bottom three catches the eye in the relegation betting.
After finishing just a point above the drop zone last term, the Mustards saw top scorer Lois Diony move to Saint-Etienne and also lost creative midfielder Pierre Lees Melou to Nice.
Olivier Dall’Oglio was given little money to reinvest and the fear is that Dijon will struggle to score goals this time around.
Neymar’s arrival may have shaken up the Golden Boot betting, with the Brazil superstar introduced at 3/2, but PSG teammate Cavani is still the man to catch here.
After emerging from the shadows of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Uruguay forward netted 35 times last term, seven more than nearest rival Alexandre Lacazette, who is now at Arsenal.
Third-placed Radamel Falcao (13/2) is not getting any younger and ongoing rumours regarding Mbappe (11/1) limit his appeal.
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