Oct 3, 2020 at 4pm UK
St EtienneSaint-Etienne
Kakuta (15' pen.), Sotoca (82')
Kakuta (68')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Macon (64')
Kolodziejczak (14'), Khazri (64')

Preview: Lens vs. Saint-Etienne - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Lens vs. Saint-Etienne - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:416597: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Ligue 1 clash between Lens and Saint-Etienne, including team news and predicted lineups.

Lens will endeavour to stretch their unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to five matches when they welcome high-flying Saint-Etienne to the Stade Bollaert-Delelis for Saturday's showdown.

The hosts were held to a 1-1 draw by Nimes in their most recent outing, while Saint-Etienne suffered their first defeat of the campaign at home to table-toppers Rennes in gameweek five.

Match preview

Lens had put together a three-game winning streak prior to their clash with Nimes, including impressive victories over Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux, but Franck Haise's men were unable to take all three points against Les Crocodiles last Sunday.

Ignatius Ganago notched up his fourth goal of the league campaign before being forced off through injury, with Nimes restoring parity through Zinedine Ferhat three minutes from time.

Even though Lens failed to keep their winning run going, Haise should still be delighted by the way his side have gone about their business since suffering an opening-day defeat to Nice.

Lens will now look to maintain their 100% record at home since achieving promotion back to the big time, although they will be welcoming a Saint-Etienne side desperate to get back to winning ways following a couple of underwhelming results.

Saint-Etienne and Rennes faced off in the pick of the fixtures in gameweek five, and given the respective form of the two sides, the clash had all the makings of a truly entertaining and closely-fought affair.

However, Claude Puel's men were simply outclassed by their opponents as Rennes stormed to a 3-0 victory on the day, with Nayef Aguerd, Serhou Guirassy and Adrien Hunou all getting on the scoresheet.

Puel's side had been forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against Nantes prior to the defeat to Rennes, so the Saint-Etienne faithful will be hoping that this is not the start of a slippery slope for their team after such a promising start to their campaign.

As things stand, Saint-Etienne sit fourth and Lens occupy sixth spot, but the two sides are only separated in the table by a solitary goal heading into Saturday's showdown.

Lens and Saint-Etienne have not locked horns since the 2014-15 campaign, where Les Verts enjoyed a 1-0 victory at Lens before the points were shared in a six-goal thriller in the corresponding fixture.

Lens Ligue 1 form: LWWWD

Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form: WWWDL

Team News

Ganago, who sits atop the scoring charts alongside Lyon's Memphis Depay, should be fine for this encounter after his injury scare against Nimes.

However, Haise will be forced into a change on the left-hand side as Issiaga Sylla has been ruled out with a calf problem, meaning that Massadio Haidara should fill the void out wide.

Clement Michelin, Cheick Traore, Seko Fofana and Charles Boli all remain on the treatment table for the hosts.

As for Saint-Etienne, Wesley Fofana came off the bench against Rennes but is reportedly on the brink of joining Leicester City, so the defender may have played his final game in green.

Teenage full-back Aimen Moueffek was hauled off at half time in the loss to Rennes and may be at risk of losing his place here, with Alpha Sissoko waiting in the wings.

Charles Abi, Mathieu Debuchy and Gabriel Silva are among those unavailable for the visitors.

Lens possible starting lineup:
Leca; Medina, Bade, Gradit; Clauss, Doucoure, Cahuzac, Haidara; Kakuta; Ganago, Sotoca

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Moulin; Sissoko, Moukoudi, Kolodziejczak, Macon; Neyou, Youssouf; Bouanga, Aouchiche, Nordin; Hamouma

We say: Lens 0-1 Saint-Etienne

Lens have performed extremely well in the opening weeks of the season and already look like a side capable of cementing their Ligue 1 status for next season. However, Saint-Etienne will be desperate to return to winning ways and have a point to prove following their crushing defeat to Rennes, so we expect the visitors to just edge this one.

Top betting 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
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG88002271524
14Montpellier HSCMontpellier8233151509
20Saint-EtienneSt Etienne8035717-103
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