Jan 20, 2021 at 8pm UK

Gueye (55'), Balerdi (62'), Perrin (69'), Khaoui (81'), Cuisance (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Banza (59')
Haidara (19'), Banza (25'), Medina (55')

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

:Headline: Preview: Marseille vs. Lens - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:431013: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Ligue 1 clash between Marseille and Lens, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Marseille will be determined to bounce back immediately from their shock defeat to Nimes when they welcome Lens to the Orange Velodrome for Wednesday's Ligue 1 encounter.

The visitors are going through a sticky patch themselves, with Sunday's 1-1 draw with Nantes representing their third top-flight game in a row without a win.

Match preview

Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud reportedly tore in to the Olympiens squad after their Ligue 1 title hopes took yet another blow in a 2-1 home defeat to relegation-threatened Nimes at the weekend.

The words "pathetic" and "rubbish" were allegedly used to describe Andre Villas-Boas's men by the infuriated president, who had witnessed his team succumb to a quickfire double from Niclas Eliasson before Dario Benedetto pulled one back for Marseille.

In fairness, Villas-Boas's men would have undoubtedly been feeling some fatigue from their Trophee des Champions defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, but with only one win to show from their last six in Ligue 1, it is clear that multiple problems must be addressed.

Marseille still have two games in hand over the five teams above them in the table, so all is certainly not lost, but they can only rise as high as fourth should they win them both with Lyon, Lille and PSG all out of sight.

Les Olympiens' dismal defeat to Nimes was only their second home defeat of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign since losing to Saint-Etienne back in September, although they have failed to keep a clean sheet at the Orange Velodrome all season.

After playing out a 1-1 draw with a Nantes team who have found their resolve under Raymond Domenech, Lens have now gone three games without a win for the first time in Ligue 1 this season.

Gael Kakuta rescued a point for Franck Haise's men with his eighth goal of the season after Imran Louza's penalty had put Les Canaris ahead, with that result extending Lens' winless run in the New Year after an impressive first half of the season.

Not many supporters would have placed bets on Lens challenging for a European berth in their first season back in the big time, but having won just one of their last five, a spot in continental competition may be a step too far for Sang et Or now.

In fact, Lens are the only team in the top half of the table who have failed to win any of their last three matches, and they are at risk of being leapfrogged by Montpellier and Brest should they fail to get the better of Marseille this week.

A coronavirus outbreak in the visitors' camp prevented this fixture from being played when it was supposed to last October, and Marseille will be aiming to win their fifth game in a row against Lens when the two sides lock horns on Wednesday.

Marseille Ligue 1 form: LDLWDL
Marseille form (all competitions): DLWDLL

Lens Ligue 1 form: WLWLLD

Team News

Marseille's midfield resources are depleting further by the week, with Boubacar Kamara being forced off after only 18 minutes against Nimes with an apparent muscular problem.

The 21-year-old's injury is not thought to be serious but he will most likely miss out here, while Villas-Boas has confirmed that there is Premier League interest for Morgan Sanson, who is being linked with a move to Aston Villa.

Steve Mandanda could return in goal for Yohann Pele if he shakes off a minor injury in time, but Jordan Amavi's continued absence could see Yuto Nagatomo line up at left-back once more, with new arrival Pol Lirola ineligible for this rescheduled game.

With Alvaro Gonzalez suspended for this fixture, Borussia Dortmund loanee Leonardo Balerdi will have the chance to prove himself this week.

Lens have a banned player of their own to contend with in the form of Yannick Cahuzac, so Cheick Doucoure should fill the void in midfield.

Liverpool have been credited with an interest in Sang et Or centre-back Loic Bade recently, but the defender's sprained ankle sees him join Corentin Jean in the visitors' treatment room.

However, Facundo Medina overcame knee problems to make the bench against Nantes and could demote Steven Fortes to the bench here.

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; Sakai, Balerdi, Caleta-Car, Nagatomo; Gueye, Rongier; Thauvin, Cuisance, Payet; Benedetto

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

We say: Marseille 2-1 Lens

Marseille would have been handed a harsh wake-up call with that damning assessment from their president after the loss to Nimes, and Villas-Boas's options for change are wearing thin with a growing number of players injured, suspended or heading for the exit door. However, Lens have endured a similar run of pitiful results and will struggle to assert any sort of dominance at the Orange Velodrome, so we think Marseille will make an immediate return to winning ways in a closely-fought contest.

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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last updated article - 2021-01-18 15:16:41:
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Ligue 1 Table
1 382411364234183
2 38264886285882
3 38246876423478
4 382210681433876
5 381612105447760
6 3816101252401258
7 381512115554157
8 381412126062-254
9 38157165053-352
10 381211154448-447
11 381210164254-1246
12 38136194256-1445
13 38128184058-1844
14 38915144250-842
15 38119184958-942
16 38119185068-1842
17 38118195066-1641
18 38913164755-840
19 3898214071-3135
20 3849252573-4821
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