MX23RW : Tuesday, December 7 12:45:01| >> :120:7306:7306:
Oct 20, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade Lille-Metropole

Celik (59'), Ikone (77'), Andre (88'), Yilmaz (90+2')

Lamela (87')

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

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

Still seeking their first wins of the 2021-22 Champions League, Lille and Sevilla face off at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Wednesday evening in Group G.

Jocelyn Gourvennec's side fell to a 2-1 defeat to Red Bull Salzburg in their last European battle, while the visitors rescued a point in a bad-tempered clash with Wolfsburg.

Match preview

Lille coach Jocelyn Gourvennec gives instructions to his players on September 14, 2021© Reuters

Life after Christophe Galtier has been anything but a walk in the park for Lille, who followed up their goalless draw with Wolfsburg with a 2-1 defeat to a youthful Red Bull Salzburg side in the Champions League before the international break.

Salzburg starlet Karim Adeyemi tucked away two penalties before Burak Yilmaz and Lille threatened a comeback with the Turkish veteran's 62nd-minute free kick, but the Ligue 1 champions were nullified in the final 30 minutes as Gourvennec's struggles in the hotseat continued.

Furthermore, just when Lille appeared to be hitting their stride in Ligue 1 with three consecutive victories, Les Dogues came crashing back down to earth with a 1-0 defeat to newly-promoted Clermont at the weekend, as Vital N'Simba's 32nd-minute strike settled the contest.

Rock bottom of the Group G rankings with only one point from their opening two games, Lille's Champions League campaign is at risk of ending at the first hurdle, although such a scenario may be a blessing in disguise given the need to turn their domestic fortunes around.

However, Gourvennec's side can take solace in the fact that they have won three and drawn one of their last four at home across all competitions, and the hosts will certainly have to channel all of that energy this week if they are to have any hopes of claiming a first Champions League home win since August 2012.

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui reacts on September 14, 2021© Reuters

Sevilla also felt the full force of an inspired Red Bull Salzburg during their draw with the Austrian champions on matchday one, and the Spanish powerhouses had to rely on a contentious penalty decision to walk away with a draw from their clash with Wolfsburg last time out.

Renato Steffen's 48th-minute opener looked set to win the day for Wolfsburg, but in the dying embers of the clash, Joshua Guilavogui was deemed to have fouled Erik Lamela inside the area following a VAR review - receiving a second yellow card for his troubles - and Ivan Rakitic made no mistake from the spot.

Julen Lopetegui's side did not produce a vintage performance against Celta Vigo at the weekend either but got the job done in a slender 1-0 victory, as Rafa Mir's 54th-minute strike settled the contest in Los Palanganas' favour.

Second in Group G with two points to show from their opening two fixtures, Sevilla's recent win at Celta Vigo ended a four-game streak without victory away from home in all competitions, but they have not suffered defeat on the road in Europe's elite competition since October 2017.

It has been 15 years since Lille and Sevilla last locked horns, with the French side winning 1-0 before a 2-0 defeat to Los Palanganas in the last-16 of the 2005-06 UEFA Cup, with Frederic Kanoute and Luis Fabiano netting for the Spaniards.

Lille Champions League form:
  • D
  • L

Lille form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Sevilla Champions League form:
  • D
  • D

Sevilla form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Lille's Burak Yilmaz celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 10, 2021© Reuters

Lille veteran Yilmaz will be welcomed back to the first XI with open arms after serving a domestic suspension at the weekend, while Reinildo should also return at left-back after serving a ban of his own.

However, centre-back Sven Botman has been ruled out for at least the next four weeks with a groin injury, while goalkeeper Leo Jardim is also absent due to a neck problem.

Jonathan David and Yilmaz should both return to form the attacking pairing after the latter started on the bench against Clermont, with Xeka potentially the unlucky one of the midfield three to be sacrificed in a change of shape.

Sevilla would have had a striker of their own back from suspension - albeit a European one - in Youssef En-Nesyri, but the visitors were without the Moroccan for the clash with Celta Vigo due to a hamstring problem.

Lopetegui also lost Joan Jordan to a calf injury during the weekend's win, but Diego Carlos and Jules Kounde will hope to return to the backline from suspension and discomfort respectively, while Papu Gomez should also be back after arriving back late from international duty.

Fernando could therefore be pushed further up the field to cover for the injured Jordan - unless Kounde is ruled out again - but Thomas Delaney is another option for Lopetegui, while Mir will lead the charge in the absence of En-Nesyri.

Lille possible starting lineup:
Grbic; Celik, Fonte, Djalo, Reinildo; Ikone, Andre, Sanches, Gomes; David, Yilmaz

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Bono; Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Acuna; Delaney, Rakitic, Fernando; Lamela, Mir, Ocampos

SM words green background

We say: Lille 1-1 Sevilla

Lille ought to have no problem making the net ripple as David and Yilmaz return to form their prolific partnership, but the confidence in the hosts' camp is not exactly sky-high.

Sevilla's hopes of a win at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy have also been diminished with their recent injury woes, and we can only predict another low-scoring draw in Group G this week.

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