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

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

Lille will endeavour to end a three-game winless run in Ligue 1 when they welcome a floundering Lorient side to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Sunday evening.

The hosts suffered a 3-2 defeat to Brest before the international break, while Lorient tasted defeat as well with a 2-0 home loss to Nantes in gameweek 10.

Match preview

An accurate assessment of Lille right now would be that Les Dogues are struggling to cope with the demands of a Europa League campaign alongside their domestic exploits.

Christophe Galtier's men were in irresistible form at the start of the season and still occupy second spot after 10 matches, but Lille have failed to win their last three games in the top flight and succumbed to defeat for the first time this season against Brest last time out.

Burak Yilmaz showed that he has not lost his goalscoring touch at the ripe old age of 35 with a second-half brace, but the damage was done in the opening 45 as Ronael Pierre-Gabriel, Romain Perraud and Irvin Cardona all found the back of the net as Lille lost more ground on table-toppers Paris Saint-Germain - who now sit five points clear atop the rankings.

However, Lille's European results have shown that Les Dogues can mix with the big boys, with Galtier's men taking seven points from a possible nine in their Europa League group and marching to a memorable 3-0 victory at the home of AC Milan earlier this month.

Lille will welcome Milan to France next week for another enticing showdown, which could come into Galtier's thinking when it comes to team selection for the visit of Lorient, but the Dogues manager should be confident about his side's chances of getting back to winning ways in the league no matter what team he puts out.

With only one point and no goals from their last three games in Ligue 1, Lorient have the look of a newly-promoted side who could be set for an immediate return to the second division.

Christophe Pelissier's men are certainly being given a harsh dose of reality in the big time and have only managed to chalk up a solitary win in their last nine outings - a 3-1 triumph over Reims in gameweek seven.

Lorient began the season with promise after recording an opening-day victory over Strasbourg, but Pelissier's side are already regarded as one of the favourites to finish below the dotted line after a below-par start to proceedings.

Lorient's only point from their last three matches came in a goalless stalemate with bottom-of-the-table Dijon, with Les Merlus falling to a lowly home defeat to Nantes just before the international break, as Ludovic Blas and Abdoul Kader Bamba notched up the goals in that one.

However, Lorient did the double over Lille when the two sides last plied their trade together in Ligue 1 in the 2016-17 campaign, with Les Dogues losing both home and away by a 1-0 scoreline, and the points have not been shared in this fixture since 2011.

Lille Ligue 1 form: WWWDDL
Lille form (all competitions): WDDDWL

Lorient Ligue 1 form: DLWLDL

Team News

Lille boss Galtier has numerous absentees to contend with, starting with the suspended trio of Yilmaz, Reinildo and Jose Fonte, all of whom received cautions in the loss to Brest.

In addition, Lille are also set to be without internationals Renato Sanches and Zeki Celik - both of whom were injured on duty with Portugal and Turkey respectively - but Benjamin Andre should return to the middle of the park after serving a suspension.

Given Les Dogues' lengthy list of absentees for this game, Galtier will no doubt ring the changes with next week's clash with Milan also in mind, with Jonathan David and Adama Soumaoro among those in line for starting roles.

Lorient also have a few more absentees to deal with for their trip to Lille, with Quentin Boisgard, Jonathan Delaplace and Thomas Monconduit all set to miss out this weekend.

The void left by Delaplace at right-back will likely be filled by Houboulang Mendes, while on the other side of defence, Vincent Le Goff is a major doubt.

Terem Moffi has been struggling with an ankle problem as of late but is expected to start in his usual place up top, which is likely to see club-record signing Adrian Grbic benched once again.

Lille possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Pied, Botman, Soumaoro, Bradaric; Lihadji, Soumare, Andre, Bamba; Weah, David

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Mendes, Laporte, Gravillon, Morel; Lauriente, Chalobah, Le Fee, Wissa; Hamel, Moffi

We say: Lille 2-1 Lorient

Both teams have seen their squads cut short following the international break, which should give Lorient in particular some much-needed confidence as they mark their return to top-flight action with an extremely difficult test. This game is likely to be a tighter affair than the Lille faithful would have been hoping for, but we still expect Les Dogues to return to winning ways in Ligue 1 with a narrow victory on their own turf.

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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