Auxerre returns to Ligue 1 action after a decade on the outskirts this Sunday, traveling to Lille in what promises to be a tough examination of their talents from the outset.
Les Dogues haven’t lost to ‘AJA’ inside regulation time since February 2010 and open their new season at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy hoping to extend that streak against the top-flight newcomers.
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Game Date: August 7, 2022
Game Time: 9 a.m. ET
TV: beIN Sports (Canada)
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Lille have made another change at the helm after Jocelyn Gourvennec could only guide them as high as 10th last season, with Paulo Fonseca brought in as his replacement ahead of the new term.
Former Roma and Shakhtar Donestck boss Fonseca brings with him a lot of tactical promise, but Lille’s squad will also play a key role in deciding whether this season returns them to the title-winning highs of 2021.
A number of high-profile departures threaten to disrupt their rhythm, with Sven Botman’s move to Newcastle United and Renato Sanches’ cut-price switch to PSG particularly damaging:
The club has relied largely on free acquisitions to replenish its ranks, with midfielder Remy Cabella and Brazilian left-back Ismaily adding both quality and experience to the team.
Forward Mohamed Bayo is the club’s only major expenditure after he was purchased from Clermont for 10 times the fee Auxerre have spent on their biggest investment.
That honor goes to $2 million asset Rayan Raveloson, a defensive midfielder who has joined the Ligue 1 new boys from Los Angeles FC. Jean-Marc Furlan has otherwise relied on loans and free transfers to beef up his squad, though the pre-season predictions haven’t been particularly positive for the Burgundy club.
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