Division 1 Féminine 2018-2019 Preview: Olympique Lyonnais Féminines
Source: olweb.fr

They don't come any bigger in Division 1 Féminine than Olympique Lyonnais and it seems as though they have shown no signs of slowing down their ambitions for the upcoming season either thanks to their summer business.

The 16 times champions will face some stern competition from Paris Saint-Germain but Reynald Pedros and his charges are more than prepared to fight for the title once again.

Departures of veteran players present a new challenge for the team

Abily, Thomis and Petit celebrate for the last time with their teammates | Source: olweb.fr
Abily, Thomis and Petit celebrate for the last time with their teammates | Source: olweb.fr

At the end of the previous season Camille Abily retired from the game. Her presence for both club and country cannot be understated and her play in the Division 1 Féminine showed that Abily was still one of the best midfielders the women's game has seen. Corine Petit and Élodie Thomis also took their bows from the profession at the end of last season and although they may not have been as prominent as Abily, their presence in the locker room will be hard to replace.

To compound to the loss of those three players Dzsenifer Marozsán is also set to miss the beginning of the season potentially due to a blocked blood vessel. Although the time frame for her return to the team is relatively short due to the nature of her absence, missing a key player like Marozsán will make Olympique Lyonnais fairly light in midfield. 

Morgan Brian, who had been brought in to the club during the winter transfer window also returned earlier than expected to the United States of America due to not being able to integrate as expected with the team. Although Brian's departure came some time ago, it also highlights the lack of depth the OL midfield will have when the season begins in a few days.

New signings come into OL to help them regain the title

Isobel Christiansen is a great signing for OL | Source: olweb.fr
Isobel Christiansen is a great signing for OL | Source: olweb.fr

OL have looked to address the midfield depth during the transfer window by bringing in Isobel Christiansen. The England international's profile has been on the rise for some time now due to her play and she will be a great addition to OL's ranks. She joins former Manchester City teammate and fellow England international Lucy Bronze at the club and will look to try and help OL replace a dominating figure like Abily.

Christiansen is not the only new addition to the teamLisa Weiß has been brought in from SGS Essen to add to the goalkeeping depth and Carolin Simon from SC Freiburg to challenge other defenders at the club for the left back spot. OL's commitment to bringing in such quality despite already having some of the best players around shows just how much they want to achieve as many club honours as possible this year.

Along with the new transfers, the likes of Ada Hegerberg and Kadeisha Buchanan have also lengthened their stays in Lyon. After their sterling previous seasons, OL can look forward to them playing during their prime with the club. The talent OL has at their disposal would take a long time to list and that is what makes them favourites to win the title again.

Predicted position: 1st

2017-2018 position: 1st