Ligue 1: Will Patrick Vieira be a success? How will Mbappe and Neymar fare?


Nice manager Patrick Vieira is back in Ligue 1 for the first time since leaving Cannes in 1995

The new Ligue 1 season begins on Friday, and with that comes some interesting storylines to follow.

With the help of French journalists, BBC Sport looks at what is new – and what isn’t – for the 2018-19 season.

Vieira’s European managerial debut

Five of the 20 Ligue 1 teams have named a new manager this summer – including Patrick Vieira’s appointment at Nice.

The Arsenal and France legend was manager at New York City FC, the Major League Soccer club linked to Manchester City, for two and a half years before his June appointment on the Cote d’Azur.

He won more MLS regular-season games than any other manager during his time in the US, but this is his first managerial role in Europe.

Vieira had been in charge of Manchester City’s Under-21 side before moving to their US sister club and was linked with the Arsenal job before replacing Lucien Favre at Nice.

This will be the 1998 World Cup winner’s first time working in France since leaving Cannes for AC Milan as a teenager.

But he could face a difficult challenge in charge of a team who finished eighth in Ligue 1 last season. Top scorer Mario Balotelli wants to leave, while Alassane Plea – their only other player to score more than five times last season – has already left for Borussia Monchengladbach.

They have also lost creative midfielder Jean Michael Seri to Fulham for a reported £25m.

Vincent Menichini, a journalist for regional newspaper Nice-Matin,