MX23RW : Monday, May 23 01:45:49| >> :600:238078:238078:
[monks data]
May 14, 2022 at 8pm UK at Stade de l'Aube
1 - 3
Biancone (14')
Kabore (9')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Danso (42'), Kalimuendo (45'), Clauss (71')
Medina (19'), Frankowski (78')

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

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

Looking to keep any hopes of continental qualification alive this season, Lens will travel to Troyes on Saturday with a desperate need for a victory.

With just two games left to play, the visitors sit seventh in the Ligue 1 table, four points behind fifth-placed Rennes, while their hosts need one point to confirm their survival.

Match preview

Lens coach Franck Haise looks on on October 17, 2021© Reuters

After improving their position in the fight for survival with three victories in quick succession, Troyes' hopes took a hit in April, as they endured a four-game winless run including three defeats.

That left them on just 33 points from 34 Ligue 1 outings, and ESTAC sat in major danger of relegation as a result, before making a crucial return to winning ways at the beginning of May.

Bruno Irles's side faced the tough test of a home meeting with last season's winners Lille, but they came out with an eye-catching 3-0 win thanks to a Florian Tardieu brace and a goal from Ike Ugbo, with all three goals coming from the penalty spot.

Their schedule did not get any easier in the fight for survival last time out, as they travelled to already-crowned champions Paris Saint-Germain, and Troyes were able to add another impressive point to their tally as Ugbo and Tardieu got on the scoresheet to salvage a 2-2 draw after they initially trailed by two goals.

Having quickly raced away from the sides below thanks to those results, ESTAC now find themselves six points clear of the bottom three with jut two games to play, meaning one point from their final two games would suffice to maintain their top-flight status for another season.

Troyes' Yoann Touzghar celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 27, 2022© Reuters

They meet a Lens side who have far more to do towards their aims, as the visitors sit four points outside of the European places with just two matches remaining.

An inconsistent run of form early in the new year looked to have condemned Franck Haise's side to a mid-table finish, but they have kept themselves in the fight for a top-five place with an inspired run recently.

Les Sang et Or have now gone unbeaten in their last six Ligue 1 outings, beginning with three straight victories over Nice, Lille and Montpellier before holding Paris Saint-Germain to a draw away from home.

After that point and a draw with Nantes, Lens made a return to winning ways last time out, as they came from behind to defeat Reims 2-1 with Seko Fofana netting the decisive goal in injury time.

Having just clung on to any hopes of European qualification thanks to that victory, Les Sang et Or sit four points off fifth-placed Rennes, meaning they almost certainly need to finish with two more wins to stand a chance of cracking the top five.

Troyes Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Lens Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Team News

Lens midfielder Seko Fofana pictured in December 2021© Reuters

Following their impressive performance away at Paris Saint-Germain, Troyes may come into Saturday's game unchanged, with Karim Azamoum, Youssouf Kone, Lebo Mothiba, Adil Rami and Suk Hyun-Jun all unlikely to return to contention due to injuries.

Their line will again be led by Ike Ugbo, who has found the net in each of the last two games to take his tally to five goals in 12 Ligue 1 appearances following a January loan move from Genk.

In the absence of Kone, Abdu Conte, Erik Palmer-Brown and Giulian Biancone should again form the back three, shielding goalkeeper Jessy Moulin.

Lens will welcome goalkeeper Jean-Louis Leca back to action on Saturday, after he served a suspension last time out.

He will have to battle with Wuilker Farinez to regain his spot, with the Venezuelan international making his 11th league appearance of the season between the sticks in that win.

Florian Sotoca will again feature in attack after his equaliser in the eventual win over Reims, while Paris Saint-Germain loanee Arnaud Kalimuendo is bound to lead the line, having scored 11 goals in Ligue 1 so far this term.

Troyes possible starting lineup:
Moulin; Kabore, Conte, Biancone, Palmer-Brown, Larouci; Ripart, Tardieu, Kouame, Chavalerin; Ugbo

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

SM words green background

We say: Troyes 1-2 Lens

With the hosts now feeling comfortable and the visitors fighting to keep their European hopes alive, we lean towards an away win at the weekend.

Lens find themselves in an impressive run of form, and we see them continuing that with a victory being much-needed.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 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.Over 2.5:data

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