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Lens logo
Champions League | Group Stage
Dec 12, 2023 at 5.45pm UK
Stade Bollaert-Delelis
Sevilla logo
Lens
2 - 1
Sevilla
Frankowski (63' pen.), Fulgini (90+6')
El Aynaoui (37'), Medina (75'), Fulgini (85'), Danso (90+9')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Ramos (79' pen.)
Soumare (61'), Salas (65'), Ramos (80'), Mir (90+9')

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

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Lens and Sevilla, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Engaging in a straight shootout for the consolation prize of Europa League football, Lens and Sevilla lock horns at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis in their final Champions League Group B encounter on Tuesday.

The hosts hold a three-point advantage over the winless Europa League holders and simply need to avoid defeat to deny Los Palanganas another shot at redemption in the continent's secondary tournament.


Match preview

RC Lens coach Franck Haise on November 29, 2023© Reuters

Lens manager Franck Haise and his troops may have taught Arsenal a defensive lesson during their 2-1 win over the Gunners in October, but Les Sang et Or's previous rearguard excellence eluded them during last month's trip to North London, which ended in a 6-0 obliteration.

Six goals from six different scorers sent Arsenal through to the last 16 as group winners, and with PSV Eindhoven also completing an astonishing comeback over Sevilla on the penultimate matchday, Lens' first Champions League adventure in 21 years will be ending at the first hurdle.

However, the third-placed Sang et Or have their Europa League fate in their own hands and will drop into the knockout round playoffs of Europe's secondary tournament if they can take at least a point off their visitors on Tuesday, but defeat would eliminate them from Europe entirely given their inferior goal difference.

A point was all that Haise's men managed to clean from their most recent Ligue 1 encounter away to Montpellier HSC on Friday, failing to convert their 65% possession into anything meaningful, although that bore draw did extend Lens' unbeaten streak in the French top flight to 10 matches.

Furthermore, home has been where the heart is for Lens in recent weeks, as they have defeated Nantes, Marseille and Lyon in each of their last three matches at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis and have only ever lost one Champions League home game - a 3-1 beating at the hands of Dynamo Kiev in 1998.

Sevilla coach Diego Alonso on October 21, 2023© Reuters

An hour of perfection preceded 30 minutes of implosion for Sevilla against PSV Eindhoven on matchday five, as goals from Sergio Ramos and Youssef En-Nesyri seemingly set Diego Alonso's side on the way to their first Champions League win of the new term, which would have blown the fight for second place wide open.

However, after Lucas Ocampos was given his marching orders for two bookable offences inside three minutes, Sevilla capitulated at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, where an Ismael Saibari effort and Nemanja Gudelj own goal preceded an injury-time Ricardo Pepi header in an astounding 3-2 win for the Dutch giants.

Veteran midfielder Fernando was also given a red card as Sevilla's last-16 hopes crashed and burned, leaving Los Palanganas' Group B adversaries looking down on them in fourth place, but a first victory at the sixth attempt would see Alonso's men sneak into their favoured Europa League.

Such a scenario is fanciful if recent form is anything to go by, though, as a 1-0 loss to Mallorca at the weekend extended the visitors' winless run in La Liga to an alarming nine matches, and their only two wins since October have been Copa del Rey successes against lower-league opponents in Quintanar and Atletico Astorga.

Speaking of unwanted nine-match runs, Sevilla have gone an identical period of time without a Champions League away win, but they held Lens to a 1-1 draw in their maiden Group B contest and are yet to lose a top-level European match away to a Ligue 1 opponent.

Lens Champions League form:


Lens form (all competitions):


Sevilla Champions League form:


Sevilla form (all competitions):


Team News

Sevilla's Lucas Ocampos is shown a red card by referee Davide Massa on November 29, 2023© Reuters

Owing to his sending-off on matchday four against PSV Eindhoven, Lens attacker Morgan Guilavogui sat out the crushing defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates, but the 25-year-old Guinea international is now eligible for European selection once again.

That is more than can be said for ACL victims Jimmy Cabot and Wuilker Farinez, although the latter is at least back in training once again, while Deiver Machado (groin) and Ayanda Sishuba (thigh) are also sidelined.

A few selection surprises were sprung by Haise against Montpellier, but trusted performers such as Nampalys Mendy, Angelo Fulgini and Florian Sotoca - back from a domestic ban - should be trusted from the first whistle for Tuesday's encounter.

As Sevilla players lost their rag against PSV, Alonso has now lost two of his regular starters to suspension, as winger Ocampos and lynchpin Fernando will watch this one from the naughty step alongside coach Juanito, the third member of the Sevilla contingent to see red in that game.

However, Fernando is nursing a shoulder concern anyway and is one of a host of injury worries for Alonso, who is also without Alfonso Pastor (knee), Suso (thigh), Orjan Nyland (thigh), Mariano Diaz (discomfort), Tanguy Nianzou (hamstring), Jesus Navas (hamstring), Erik Lamela (calf), Loic Bade (calf), Joan Jordan (thigh) and Marcos Acuna (hamstring).

Sevilla's fitness crisis worsened when Dodi Lukebakio was taken off in the first half of their loss to Mallorca with a knee injury, which will render him unavailable for Tuesday's game, and with Adnan Januzaj not registered for Champions League action, Rafa Mir should fill the void.


Lens possible starting lineup:
Samba; Medina, Danso, Gradit; Frankowski, Abdul Samed, Mendy, Haidara; Sotoca, Fulgini; Wahi

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Dmitrovic; Sanchez, Ramos, Gudelj, Pedrosa; Rakitic, Soumare, Sow; Torres, En-Nesyri, Mir


SM words green background

We say: Lens 1-0 Sevilla

Bereft of reinforcements in all areas of the field and struggling for inspiration domestically, Sevilla ought to travel to France in hope more than expectation, especially with Lens always a force to be reckoned with in front of their expectant crowd.

Haise's men have not always dazzled and delighted on the attacking front in recent weeks, but they should find their way through a depleted Sevilla backline at least once to ensure Europa League qualification.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 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.Under 2.5:data


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Game History

How you voted: Lens vs Sevilla

Lens
68.6%
Draw
18.1%
Sevilla
13.3%
188
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Sevilla's Juanlu Sanchez pictured on September 29, 2023
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Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
QBayern651016
QCopenhagen62228
3Galatasaray61235
4Man Utd61144

Group B

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QArsenal641113
QPSV62319
3Lens62228
4Sevilla60242

Group C

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QNapoli631210
3Braga61144
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Group D

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Group E

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Group F

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4Newcastle61235

Group G

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Group H

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4Antwerp61053

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