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May 16, 2021 at 8pm UK
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Preview: Bordeaux vs. Lens - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bordeaux vs. Lens - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Bordeaux and Lens, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Bordeaux welcome Lens to the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux on Sunday evening in a crucial game at both ends of the Ligue 1 table.

With only two games left in the season, the hosts are in danger of relegation from the league as they currently sit just two points above the relegation playoff position, while Lens are aiming to finish fifth and qualify for the UEFA Conference League.

Match preview

After defeating Rennes 1-0 in their previous home game, Bordeaux put themselves back into danger of being relegated from Ligue 1 for the first time since the 1990-91 season with a defeat in the Atlantique Derby last Saturday.

Their rivals Nantes cruised to a 3-0 win through goals from Kalifa Coulibaly, Imran Louza and Randal Kolo, meaning Bordeaux have now lost 12 games out of their last 15 league matches.

That devastating defeat puts them in grave danger going into the penultimate game of the season as Nantes, who are in 18th position, have now closed the gap to only two points behind Jean-Louis Gasset's side.

The 2008-09 champions will certainly need to improve their recent defensive displays if they want to stay in the top flight as they have conceded at least three goals in six of their last seven games, with opponents scoring 20 goals in total against them.

Meanwhile, this weekend's opposition are having a great season back in the French top flight for the first time since the 2014-15 season, currently sitting in sixth position and level on points with Marseille, who have a better goal difference by two goals.

A fifth-placed finish will be their joint-highest Ligue 1 position since the 2005-06 campaign and would qualify Lens for next year's inaugural UEFA Conference League tournament.

A couple of losses in their last two games against the current top two - Paris Saint-Germain and Lille - ended a run of 13 games unbeaten in the league, but Franck Haise's side are yet to lose three games in a row this season and will not want to change that statistic this weekend.

Lens came close to a second-half comeback against PSG but failed to score their second, losing the game 2-1, yet Haise will be more concerned about the 3-0 defeat last time out against Lille denting their goal difference, which could prove crucial at the end of the season.

They will be looking for a response this weekend and will have the confidence of knowing they won the home tie earlier on in the season 2-1 with goals from attackers Ignatius Ganago and Gael Kakuta.

However, the hosts are unbeaten in their last 11 home games against Lens in the league and have scored eight goals in the last three meetings at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.

Bordeaux Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Lens Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

The hosts will continue to be without centre back Laurent Koscielny and defensive midfielder Otavio due to Achilles injuries yet both might return for their final game of the season.

After starting the season strongly, Hatem Ben Arfa's form has dropped significantly but he has the talent to change games and hence could be key to Bordeaux. However, the winger is a doubt for this game alongside the Nigerian winger Samuel Kalu, despite both returning to training this week.

Remi Oudin is the only Bordeaux outfield player to have featured in every game this season yet he has only lasted 90 minutes seven times. The attacker will be aiming to increase his tally of four goals this season as he marks his 100th Ligue 1 appearance.

For the away team, defensive midfielder Yannick Cahuzac is set for a landmark of 200 Ligue 1 games this weekend and is currently on his longest ever spell without gaining a yellow card in the last 10 games.

However, his teammates have failed to be as disciplined resulting in Issiaga Sylla, Florian Sotoca and Clement Michelin all missing out on Sunday due to suspension.

Left-back Massadio Haidara remains out with a calf injury but could possibly return next weekend, unlike Adam Oudjani and Zakaria Diallo who will not return this season due to long term injuries.

Bordeaux possible starting lineup:
Costil; Benito, Baysse, Mexer, Sabaly; Peville, Basic, Adli, Zerkane; Ui-Jo, Oudin

Lens possible starting lineup:
Leca; Fortes, Bade, Gradit; Boura, Doucoure, Cahuzac, Clauss; Kakuta; Kalimuendo, Ganago

We say: Bordeaux 2-2 Lens

Both teams will come out looking for the win as they fight for different reasons at either end of the table.

There are bound to be goals with the hosts conceding 20 in their last 7, while the visitors have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 12 league games.

Despite the superiority in recent form and league standing in favour of Lens, Bordeaux's impressive home record against their opponents will make this a close game.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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