This Saturday at 3 p.m. will open the 2022/23 Ligue 2 season with the opening match Dijon – Saint-Etienne, a symbol of the interest of the posters in the antechamber of Ligue 1 this season. With plenty of contenders for promotion to the only two direct spots that will be awarded this season, the uphill drama should thrill many teams with high ambitions this season. Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux or even Bastia and Guingamp, the very beautiful names will compete this season for a Ligue 2 that should not be missed under any circumstances.
What’s new for Ligue 2 2022/23?
Given the increase in Ligue 1 to 18 clubs for the 2023/24 season, the League has decided to offer only two direct promotions to Ligue 1 for the season which opens this weekend. So no playoff phase at the end of the season and hopes up to fifth place as Sochaux took advantage of it last season and have ambitions without being on the podium. This season, the Top 2 will be the only objective of the teams who will play the climb, making it even more difficult this season.
Among the new faces this season in Ligue 2, the followers of the second division will have two teams freshly promoted from National 1 to observe with a team accustomed to championship games, Laval, champion of National 1 last season as well as Annecy, real revelation of last season in the third division and which will try to exist and maintain itself in Ligue 2.
Paris FC, Sochaux, Caen, the year of the rise?
After coming very close to the rise last season, only losing in the playoffs to let Auxerre compete in the Ligue 1 accession dam, Paris FC and Sochaux will obviously be candidates for the rise in the elite. With many arrivals on each side and in particular Pierre-Yves Hamel and Paul Lasne in Paris and Julien Faussurier in Sochaux, the clubs are banking on experience to build on their fine last season and finish in one of the first two places in end of season.
Behind, it is the Stade Malherbe de Caen which could surprise. Close to the qualifying places for the final phase last season, the Normans took advantage of the off-season to strengthen strongly by recording in particular the arrival of Romain Thomas from Angers. Stéphane Moulin has therefore attracted one of his Angers executives to try, with an interesting workforce, to capitalize on the good performances of last season.
Bordeaux, Saint-Etienne, really candidates for the podium?
Relegated in the last moments of last season, on penalties against AJ Auxerre, Saint-Etienne started this season in Ligue 2 with a lot of ambitions but few means. With the only arrivals of Mathieu Cafaro, Anthony Briançon and Jimmy Giraudon, the workforce of the Greens has been greatly weakened by departures and it seems complex to make this team a contender for the rise. Laurent Battles will therefore have the complicated task of launching his team’s season in the best possible way and thus allowing the people of Saint-Etienne to hope to go straight up.
Freshly reinstated to compete in Ligue 2 next season, the Girondins de Bordeaux approach this 2022/23 financial year with very little confidence, a fragile club structure and a workforce weakened by an off-season dominated by expectation. Only the loan returns of Josh Maja and the transfer of Albert Elis come to fill a workforce weakened by the departures of many executives including Mara, Costil, Briand, Otavio, Adli or Pembélé.
A race uphill more difficult than ever?
With only two tickets awarded for promotion to Ligue 1, competition will be fierce between the big teams in the championship. Among the contenders for the rise, the fight will last all year. If in previous seasons, the threshold of 70 points almost ensured a place to play for promotion, there is no doubt that 75 or 80 points will be necessary to hope to be promoted. Defeats will therefore have to be very rare, less than five, with a course without many faults at home and without giving up any points to his opponents in direct confrontations.
The opinion of the editorial staff of We Sport
Despite a disappointing season last season, Stade Malherbe de Caen could be promoted along with Sochaux, very close to returning to Ligue 1 last season. Behind, the disappointed should be Dijon, Grenoble, Le Havre or even Paris FC, which all seem a bit tight to display flawless consistency over 38 days.
For the maintenance race, Pau, Rodez and Annecy are the teams that could experience the most difficulties even if many teams seem to be of a fairly homogeneous level.
The 2022/23 Ligue 2 calendar
Apart from the beautiful posters that will oppose the contenders for the climb, the Ligue 2 championship will also offer very attractive matches such as the Alps derby:
Matchday 5 – 08/27/2022: Annecy FC – Grenoble
Matchday 27 – 03/11/2023: Grenoble – Annecy FC
One of the most watched posters of the season will certainly be the duel between the Girondins de Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne:
Day 8 – 10/09/2022: Saint-Etienne – Bordeaux
Day 26 – 04/03/2023: Bordeaux – Saint-Etienne
Finally, the Normandy derby between Le Havre and Quevilly-Rouen could be the scene of a good opposition at the top of the table:
Day 14 – 05/11/2022: Quevilly-Rouen – Le Havre
Day 32 – 04/22/2023: Le Havre – Quevilly-Rouen