The French League Cup (Coupe de la Ligue) has been taking place each season since 1994. This is the secondary cup knockout competition that takes place each season and is under the organization of the Ligue de Football Professionnel.
Only professional teams can take part, as opposed to the French Cup where amateur teams can also take part in the event. In the third football division, there are only four different pro clubs taking part, the rest being amateur sides.
The French League Cup iteration in the 2019/2020 season will be the last ever renewal. This is because the football federation is reducing the schedule for teams during the season.
Previous versions of the French League Cup
While the first French League Cup took place in 1994, there have been similar competitions that have taken place in decades before this start date.
- The Coupe Charles Drago took place between 1953 and 1965, with those teams that had been knocked out of the French Cup taking part in this competition.
- There was a Coupe de Ligue competition that ran between 1963 and 1965.
- Then the Coupe d’Ete that took place starting in 1982 up until 1994 when the French League Cup started.
The history of the French League Cup
In its current form, the Cup started back in 1994. The reason for this competition initially was because lots of pro teams were not happy with the French Cup as the amateur teams were getting home advantage for games. As there are no amateur teams taking part in the French League Cup this is not an issue.
The team that wins the Cup each season gets entry into the UEFA Europa League. The winner of the very first iteration of this competition was Paris Saint-Germain after beating Bastia in the final. The 1996 final between Lyon and Metz was the first to be decided via a penalty shootout, with Metz coming out on top.
In recent times, the final has taken place in the Stade de France. This was up until 2015 when the final started to be changed around the nation, being hosted in the likes of Lille, Bordeaux and Lyon.
It was in 200 that the first non-Ligue 1 team won the French League Cup. This was Gueugnon who beat Paris Saint-Germain. In total, 14 different teams have captured the title since it started back in 1994. While Paris Saint-Germain has the most wins, with eight titles. They won five consecutive renewals of this competition from 2015 until 2018.
Strasbourg has won on four occasions, with Marseille and Bordeaux both having won the event three times. Both Lyon and Monaco have been runner-up in the final on four occasions.
Betting on the French League Cup
As the French League Cup is solely made up of teams that are professional and in the top three leagues of French football, there have traditionally been a lot fewer games taking place. This means that the chances of an upset are somewhat lower. The excitement factor of an amateur team coming up against one of the best sides in the country is no longer there. However, there is always the excitement that comes along with knockout football.
While the league competitions are more of a measure of consistently strong performances over the course of a year, where one result does not mean too much in the grand scheme of things, with the likes of the French League Cup any team can cause an upset on any given day. This is why there have been a lot of betting opportunities and value bets to be had if you are wagering on these games.
There has been a decent spread of winners of the French League Cup competition in recent years bar the five consecutive wins by Paris Saint-Germain. It is a competition that has been valued for many years, up to now with the massive loads placed on teams and players, the authorities have decided that it is probably for the best that the French League Cup is retired and not played again.