MX23RW : Saturday, January 22 18:30:10| >> :120:62975:62975:
Oct 24, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stade Felix Bollaert
LensLens
4-1
MetzMetz
Said (14', 37'), Ganago (83'), Frankowski (90')
Leca (65'), Ganago (87')
FT(HT: 2-1)
de Preville (33')
Pajot (20'), Maiga (39'), N'Doram (53')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Lens and Metz, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Lens and Metz face off in the 11th match of this developing Ligue 1 season at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts are flying high in second place, whilst their upcoming opponents currently find themselves down in the relegation playoff spot with just six points.


Match preview

Lens' Arnaud Kalimuendo celebrates scoring their second goal on October 1, 2021© Reuters

Lens finished seventh in Ligue 1 last term, which represented an impressive campaign on their return to the top flight, and many fans would have been happy to see the team simply consolidate themselves as a top-half regular this season.

They have gone far beyond that, though, having amassed 18 points in their first 10 games to sit behind only the dominant Paris Saint-Germain in the standings.

Franck Haise's side did, however, lose their second game of the season last weekend when they travelled to Montpellier, who are struggling down in the bottom half.

The deadlock was broken three minutes into the second half when the hosts' captain Teji Savanier laid on a great assist for English forward Stephy Mavididi and La Paillade then clung on to their one-goal lead, despite being reduced to 10 men late on.

Results elsewhere meant that Lens remained in second place, at least, and Haise will now be determined for his men to bounce back in style against a very beatable opponent this weekend.

Metz manager Frederic Antonetti pictured in April 2021© Reuters

Frederic Antonetti has seen his side struggle to match the form they showed last year, when they finished an impressive 10th during their second season back in the top tier.

Metz went on a run of four straight defeats in September and, after the brief respite of a 2-1 win away at Brest, have returned to losing ways with back-to-back defeats in their last two matches.

They conceded three in each - first, losing the lead twice before conceding a 90th-minute winner to Angers, and then going into half time 3-0 down to Rennes last weekend and never recovering.

The biggest issue that Antonetti's side have had so far is scoring goals, with just 11 to show for their efforts in the opening 10 games - only two Ligue 1 sides have scored fewer.

History, at least, does appear to be on Metz's side in this fixture, as they have not been beaten by Lens since 2017, with the most recent encounter last season finishing 2-2.

Lens Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Metz Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L



Team News

Facundo Medina in action for Argentina on February 3, 2020© Reuters

With striker Corentin Jean fit again, Lens have just the one injury concern to deal with, as Massadio Haidara is a doubt with a groin injury.

Facundo Medina has also returned from suspension and will surely slot straight back into the defensive three, with Haise unlikely to ring the changes despite their surprise defeat.

As for the visitors, their three previously suspended players - Dylan Bronn, Fabien Centonze and Habib Maiga - are all back for this game and should start.

Ibrahima Niane is a doubt, which could see Nicolas de Preville lead the line, with Opa Nguette coming in on the left.

Kevin N'Doram and Jemerson both made surprising starts last weekend, but only the latter looks set to retain his spot.

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

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Centonze, Bronn, Jemerson, Udol; Gueye, Sarr, Maiga, Pajot, Nguette; De Preville


SM words green background

We say: Lens 2-0 Metz

They may have lost last time out but Lens are the better side, with home advantage and a fitter squad. This should be a comfortable home victory.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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 3.5:data


ID:468113:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect9329:

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How you voted: Lens vs Metz

Lens
84.6%
Draw
7.7%
Metz
7.7%
52
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Marseille's Ahmadou Bamba Dieng celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on September 11, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG21155142182450
2Nice21124534181639
3Marseille20107328161237
4StrasbourgStrasbourg21105641251635
5Rennes21104740192134
6MonacoMonaco2196633231033
7Lens219663629733
8Lille228863030032
9Montpellier HSCMontpellier219483428631
10Lyon218852927231
11NantesNantes218582625129
12Brest227782833-528
13Angers206862627-126
14Reims215972223-124
15Troyes2155111929-1020
16Metz2147102441-1719
17Clermont2146112038-1818
18Lorient2138101634-1817
19Bordeaux2138103050-2017
20Saint-EtienneSt Etienne2126131843-2512

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