MX23RW : Tuesday, November 24 03:21:18| >> :600:211708:211708:
Nov 8, 2020 at 2pm UK at Stade Felix Bollaert
LensLens
4-4
ReimsReims
Banza (21'), Foket (77' og.), Sotoca (90', 90+1')
Medina (14'), Mauricio (18'), Bade (76')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Cafaro (47'), Dia (54', 81'), Medina (79' og.)
Faes (46')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Lens and Reims, including team news and predicted lineups.

Reims will be looking to secure a third consecutive victory in Ligue 1 when they travel to the Stade Bollaert-Delelis to take on Lens on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the hosts are taking to the pitch for the first time in three weeks following a major coronavirus outbreak in the Lens camp.


Match preview

Lens manager Franck Haise pictured in September 2020© Reuters

A full team of players testing positive for COVID-19 spells disaster for any club, but for a Lens outfit who have produced some remarkable results since the season began, the coronavirus cluster could not have come at a worse time.

With as many as 11 players contracting the virus over the past couple of weeks, Lens saw their proposed fixtures with Nantes and Marseille postponed and have not stepped out on the field for top-flight action since October 18, where they were thrashed 4-0 by Lille.

That drubbing was the first time that Franck Haise's men had lost since the opening day of the season, however, with the newly-promoted side taking maximum points from four of their last five fixtures in the top flight, including memorable wins over Ligue 1 mainstays Saint-Etienne, Bordeaux and Paris Saint-Germain.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not Sang et Or can continue their stellar run of form after three weeks without a game, but barring any late complications, Lens are sure to be returning to action this weekend as they look to rectify the mistakes from their 4-0 defeat at Lille.

In addition to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Haise is set to be without a host of players owing to injuries and suspensions, which could spell trouble for Lens as they welcome a Reims side who appear to have turned a corner while the hosts have been confined to watch from home.

Reims head coach David Guion pictured in January 2019© Reuters

Following the historic 2019-20 campaign where Reims secured a path into the Europa League, the current season began in catastrophic fashion by comparison for Les Rogues et Blancs.

David Guion's men drew two and lost five of their opening seven league matches and were sent packing in Europe very early by Fehervar, but Reims finally managed to pick up their first top-flight win of the season at the eighth attempt as they thrashed Montpellier 4-0 two weeks back.

The former Europa League contenders followed up that storming win with a second triumph on the bounce as they overcame a lowly Strasbourg outfit 2-1 last week, with an own goal from Bingourou Kamara and a Wout Faes header propelling Guion's side to victory yet again.

However, Reims are still relatively low in the table and sit 15th at this stage, but should Brest and Saint-Etienne lose to Lille and Lyon respectively, Guion's side can leapfrog both teams with a third win in a row this weekend.

History suggests that Reims' chances of doing just that are quite high - Les Rouges et Blancs have taken the spoils in their last three meetings with Lens in all competitions - with Sang et Or looking for their first home win over Reims since the 2014-15 Ligue 1 campaign.

Lens Ligue 1 form: WWWDWL

Reims Ligue 1 form: LLDLWW
Reims form (all competitions): LLDLWW


Team News

Lens celebrate scoring against Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 on September 10, 2020© Reuters

Lens did not disclose which players tested positive for coronavirus, but this weekend's hosts should welcome back all athletes who contracted the disease after their mandatory quarantine period.

However, Haise nonetheless has several absentees to contend with as Yannick Cahuzac is suspended for an accumulation of bookings, while Jonathan Gradit and Clement Michelin both saw red against Lille and will also miss out.

On a more positive note, Seko Fofana and Issiaga Sylla could both be in contention to feature having resumed training following injuries, but Ignatius Ganago may have to wait a little while longer to make his return from a sprained ankle.

Reims do not have anywhere near as many concerns but will still be without the injured duo Arber Zeneli and Ghislain Konan, although Xavier Chavalerin and Thibaut de Smet have outside chances of making the cut.

Moreto Cassama returns from a suspension for the trip to Lens and could come straight back into the midfield, but further alterations are unlikely given the visitors' two recent victories.

Lens possible starting lineup:
Leca; Medina, Bade, Radovanovic; Clauss, Doucoure, Boli, Sylla; Kakuta; Sotoca, Jean

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Doucoure, Faes, Abdelhamid, Foket; Berisha, Cassama, Munetsi; Mbuku, Dia, Cafaro


SM words green background

We say: Lens 0-2 Reims

Lens are three for three at home in the 2020-21 campaign and would have felt confident about their chances of making it four before coronavirus struck, which has significantly hampered their preparations. The hosts already have a depleted squad and are facing a Reims side who have turned their fortunes around recently, so we are backing Guion's men to come out on top here.


Top betting 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:421257:cQx

Who will win Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Lens and Reims?

Lens
Draw
Reims
Lens
50.0%
Draw
16.7%
Reims
33.3%
12
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG118032862224
2Lille116412171422
3Lyon115511810820
4MonacoMonaco116232016420
5Montpellier HSCMontpellier116232016420
6Marseille9531128418
7Rennes115331815318
8Nice105231512317
9Lens95221514117
10Metz11443129316
11Angers115151521-616
12Bordeaux114341011-115
13Brest115061923-415
14NantesNantes103341214-212
15Nimes113261119-811
16Saint-EtienneSt Etienne113171119-810
17Reims112361619-39
18Lorient112271221-98
19StrasbourgStrasbourg112091323-106
20Dijon11047520-154

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