MX23RW : Sunday, January 24 04:54:15| >> :120:52903:52903:
Jan 6, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade de Gerland
Depay (39', 52' pen.), Fortes (46' og.)
Aouar (40')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Sotoca (56'), Doucoure (89')
Leca (51'), Bade (85')

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

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

Lyon will be aiming to cement their position atop the Ligue 1 rankings when they welcome an inconsistent Lens to the Groupama Stadium following the Christmas break.

Les Gones ended 2020 at the top of the pile following a 3-0 victory over Nantes, and Lens also won their final game of the year as they overcame Brest 2-1.

Match preview

Lyon manager Rudi Garcia pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Having struggled for consistency at the beginning of the campaign, Lyon are now well on their way to a first Ligue 1 triumph since the 2007-08 campaign.

Rudi Garcia's side rounded off 2020 with a resounding win against a struggling Nantes side on December 23, with Karl Toko Ekambi, Tino Kadewere and Lucas Paqueta putting the game to bed before half time at the Groupama Stadium.

Lyon's seventh win from their last eight matches ensured that they would be leading the way heading into the New Year, but only a solitary goal separates Les Gones and second-placed Lille - who have also accrued 36 points from 17 matches - in the standings.

The table-toppers will now be aiming to stretch their unbeaten run in the French top flight to 15 games, and no team has managed to prevail on Lyon's turf so far in the 2020-21 campaign.

However, anything other than a victory opens the door for Lille or Paris Saint-Germain to leapfrog Lyon on Wednesday, and even a win may not be enough to remain top if Lille can notch up more goals and triumph over Angers.

Lens manager Franck Haise pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Meanwhile, Lens' impressive 2020 ended in perfect fashion with a 2-1 win over Brest - a result which saw them finish the year in the top seven following Montpellier's defeat to Lille.

Arnaud Kalimuendo and Florian Sotoca got the goals which propelled Franck Haise's men to their eighth victory of the season, and the Sang et Or faithful have plenty of reasons for optimism if Lens' 2021 is every bit as successful as their 2020 was.

Despite being tipped by many to make an immediate return to the second tier, Lens are firmly in the argument for a European berth and are level on points with sixth-placed Monaco - who have played a game more - and four points adrift of fourth-placed Rennes with a game in hand.

Lens have made a habit of losing one then winning one in the top flight recently, and while many will be expecting that run to continue here with defeat to Lyon, Lens have managed to prevail away from home against Rennes and Monaco already this season.

This week's visitors have only triumphed three times in their last 17 matches against Lyon, who eased to a 2-0 victory in this fixture when the sides last met in the 2014-15 campaign.

Lyon Ligue 1 form: WWWDWW

Lens Ligue 1 form: LWLWLW

Team News

Lyon defender Marcelo pictured in August 2019© Reuters

Lyon defender Marcelo, who has recently been linked with West Ham United, will play no part in this fixture due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

Sinaly Diomande should therefore come in to partner Jason Denayer in the heart of defence, while Toko Ekambi - Lyon's top scorer - and Bruno Guimaraes have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.

Moussa Dembele also remains out with a broken arm to further limit Garcia's attacking options, so 17-year-old Rayan Cherki could be handed a start against Lens.

The visitors have little in the way of injury concerns, although Manchester United-linked defender Facundo Medina is doubtful after missing out against Brest with a knee problem.

Cheick Traore is Lens' only long-term absentee as he recovers from an Achilles tendon rupture, and a number of changes could be on the cards with Issiaga Sylla, Jonathan Clauss and Gael Kakuta all in line for starts.

Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Dubois, Diomande, Denayer, Cornet; Mendes, Aouar, Paqueta; Cherki, Depay, Kadewere

Lens possible starting lineup:
Leca; Gradit, Bade, Fortes; Clauss, Doucoure, Fofana, Sylla; Kakuta; Sotoca, Kalimuendo

SM words green background

We say: Lyon 3-1 Lens

Lens have proved themselves as a force to be reckoned with away from home, with Rennes and Monaco both failing to break Haise's men down so far. The loss of Toko Ekambi is sure to harm Lyon's goalscoring prospects, but the league leaders should still have too much quality for the visitors and will be expected to pick up where they left off with a resounding victory this week.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home 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 Win:data


How you voted: Lyon vs Lens

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Lyon's Memphis Depay pictured in August 2020
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