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Preview: Dijon vs. Lens - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Dijon entertain Lens in Ligue 1 on Sunday with the hosts requiring a win to move off the bottom of the table.

Lens, meanwhile, will be looking to capitalise on their games in hand by returning to the top half of the table, having dropped to 11th prior to the international break.

Match preview

Dijon sacked Stephane Jobard for a second time in three years following the 0-0 home draw with Lorient, with former Dijon midfielder David Linares replacing him as head coach.

The 45-year-old's first match in charge saw another draw, but this time a more impressive one in the form of a 1-1 tie at Metz. Ligue 1's bottom club could well have earned their first win of the season had Mounir Chouiar scored from the penalty spot in the 31st minute, but unfortunately the forward's strike was saved by opposition goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja, with the game fizzling out afterwards.

Indeed, the game had started in electrifying fashion, with Metz's Opa Nguette also missing a penalty in the early stages before Mama Balde punished the hosts' profligacy after fine work from Chouiar saw him lay the ball on a plate for his teammate. Papa Ndiaga Yade levelled proceedings with a scruffy effort from the edge of the area prior to Chouiar's penalty miss.

There were certainly signs of encouragement for Linares and his side, though, who will be hoping a first league win of the season can be achieved against Lens. They surely require one soon if they are to avoid being relegated.

After being promoted from Ligue 2 last season, Lens have made a good impression on their anticipated return to France's top flight.

Indeed, Franck Haise's side took 13 points from five matches at one stage this season, including a famous 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the early weeks of the season. They were mightily relieved to avoid a second successive defeat last time out at home to Reims, though, with two goals in the dying stages from Florian Sotoca rescuing a point in a hugely entertaining 4-4 draw.

Simon Banza had given the hosts the lead heading into the break with a fine header from a corner which bounced into the ground before going in, before a second half featuring a staggering seven goals kicked off. Lens' defence was caught wide open with Mathieu Cafaro running through and scoring, before a ball over the top caught the hosts napping once more with Boulaye Dia running through and somehow sneaking the ball through the arms of Jean-Louis Leca.

Parity was restored via Thomas Foket's calamitous own goal, with the defender unable to move his feet quickly enough to avoid the ball striking his thigh and diverting into the bottom corner, before a second own goal in three minutes saw Reims take the lead. Dia appeared to have sealed the three points for his side after superbly slaloming through the Lens defence and skillfully rounding Leca to tap into an empty net.

However, Sotoca had other ideas, heading home from close range in the last minute before his diving header in injury time bounced off both posts and went in to salvage a point for his side in amazing fashion.

Dijon Ligue 1 form: DLDLDD

Lens Ligue 1 form: WWDWLD

Team News

Linares looks set to be without Eric Ebimbe due to muscular problems, but otherwise Dijon appear to have a clean bill of health as they chase their first win of the campaign.

The new head coach is unlikely to change much from his first starting XI in his new role, with his side performing above expectations in the draw at Metz.

Ignatius Ganago (ankle) and Cheick Traore (Achilles tendon) are both long-term absentees for Haise, meanwhile, with Lens at full strength otherwise.

Sotoca will need to be marked tightly by Dijon if they wish to gain a positive result, with the forward showcasing his aerial ability to great effect against Reims.

Dijon possible starting lineup:
Racioppi; Chafik, Manga, Couliably, Boey; Ndong, Lautoa; Assale, Celina, Chouiar; Balde

Lens possible starting lineup:
Leca; Fortes, Bade, Medina; Clauss, Mauricio, Doucoure, Boura; Kakuta; Sotoca, Banza

We say: Dijon 1-3 Lens

Lens play with an expansive style which is always great to watch for the neutral, and we expect it work to good effect against a Dijon side who are lacking offensive quality to punish them on the break.

The attacking trio of Gael Kakuta, Simon Banza and Socota could run riot against Dijon, with Linares requiring a defensive masterclass from his players if they are to shut their opponents out.

Top betting 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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