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Sep 18, 2021 at 4pm UK
LensLens
1-0
LilleLille
Frankowski (74')
Leca (57'), Sotoca (88')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Mandava (22'), Celik (90+3')

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

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

Lille travel to the Stade Bollaert-Delelis to face Lens on Saturday afternoon in the sixth round of games of this developing Ligue 1 season.

The visitors may be the reigning champions, but it is the home side who are having the better campaign so far this season.


Match preview

The Lens revival under Franck Haise continues, after a strong start to the season leaves the northern team sitting fifth in the table, just two points behind second-placed Angers.

Now on an unbeaten run of eight consecutive games, stretching back to early July, Lens look confident at the moment and secured a dramatic win away at Bordeaux on Sunday.

Two first-half goals from Gael Kakuta and Facundo Medina put les Sang et Or in control, but Bordeaux got one back on the hour mark and Jean Onana looked to have earned the hosts a point with an 88th-minute equaliser, only for Florian Sotoca, who had hit the crossbar earlier in the game, to strike six minutes into added time from the penalty spot.

Defensively, Haise's men have not been the strongest, only keeping one clean sheet all season, but they have proven their ability to fight for results, having come from behind in all three of their draws so far this campaign.

After finishing seventh last season on their return to Ligue 1, Lens are beginning to believe that they can go one step further this time around and challenge for the European spots.

If Lens are on the way up, Lille appear to be going in the opposite direction.

After an underwhelming transfer window this summer and the loss of their title-winning manager Christophe Galtier to Nice, Lille have instantly transformed from being a team with the league's best defence to the second-worst, having conceded fewer goals than only Bordeaux, who are currently propping up the league.

They have let in 11 goals in their first five games - in comparison, that is the number they conceded during the final 21 games of the 2020-21 campaign.

Two of those 11 goals came last weekend, when Terem Moffi's dramatic late winner gave Lorient a superb 2-1 win and sent last year's champions down to 12th in the table.

Les Dogues did, at least, keep a clean sheet during the week in a 0-0 stalemate against 10-man Wolfsburg in the Champions League group stage, but they will need to do far more if they are to stand any chance of defending their title.

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

Lens form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

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

Lille form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D

Team News

Teenage centre-back Christopher Wooh was fit to return to the bench for the previous two games but is yet to break back into the Lens starting XI as yet.

The only remaining injury concern for Haise is Massadio Haidara, who is still out with a calf injury, and Cheick Oumar Doucoure will also be returning from a two-match ban.

Gourvennec has a few more injuries to deal with - forwards Timothy Weah and Jonathan Bamba are sidelined with thigh problems, whilst Renato Sanches will be out for a few more weeks with a knee issue.

Right-back Zeki Celik and attacker Jonathan David returned for the midweek Champions League game, though, and Domagoj Bradaric may also be fit to return to the bench on Saturday.

Lens possible starting lineup:
Leca; Gradit, Danso, Medina; Clauss, Fofana, Cahuzac, Frankowski; Kakuta, Sotoca, Ganago

Lille possible starting lineup:
Grbic; Celik, Fonte, Botman, Reinildo; Ikone, Andre, Xeka, Yazici; David, Yilmaz


We say: Lens 2-2 Lille

Lens have already beaten one of last season's title contenders, when they saw off Monaco 2-0 away from home. Lille will be determined to get their season going, however, and - considering the two teams' defensive deficiencies - we are backing a high-scoring draw here.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data



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Ligue 1 Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG1191124101428
2Lens116322012821
3Nice116322181320
4Marseille115421912719
5Rennes11533169718
6Angers114521713417
7NantesNantes115241612417
8MonacoMonaco115241714317
9Lyon114431816216
10Lille114341416-215
11Lorient113621214-215
12StrasbourgStrasbourg114251816214
13Montpellier HSCMontpellier113441819-113
14Clermont113441422-813
15Troyes113351115-412
16Reims112541214-211
17Bordeaux111641322-99
18Brest110651220-86
19Metz111371226-146
20Saint-EtienneSt Etienne110561125-145
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea97112332022
2Liverpool96302762121
3Manchester CityMan City96212041620
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham95221610617
5Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton943299015
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs9504913-415
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd94231615114
8Everton94231514114
9Leicester CityLeicester94231515014
10Arsenal94231013-314
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves941499013
12Brentford9333119212
13Aston Villa93151315-210
14Watford93151217-510
15Crystal Palace91621114-39
16Southampton9153812-48
17Leeds UnitedLeeds9144816-87
18Burnley9045715-84
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle90451120-94
20Norwich CityNorwich9027223-212
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