France Ligue 1 - Match Prediction: Lens VS Lorient

Match Time:4/11/2021 21:00 Sunday  (GMT+8)

France Ligue 1 --  Lens   VS   Lorient

Livescore | Match Prediction & Tips| Asian Handicap Odds|Line-ups& H2H Stats


Two newly-promoted sides who have endured contrasting seasons prepare to renew hostilities at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Sunday when Lens play host to Lorient in Ligue 1.


The hosts managed to take a point from their battle with title-chasing Lyon last time out, whereas Lorient continued their hot streak with a 1-0 triumph over Brest.


Match preview

After being tipped as candidates for an immediate return to Ligue 2 at the start of the season, Lens continue to defy expectation under Franck Haise, and a stint in European football would be just reward for their performances during an inspirational campaign.


Despite suffering a shock Coupe de France exit to Red Star last month, Sang et Or have gone from strength to strength in Ligue 1 and held Lyon to a 1-1 draw in their most recent fixture, as the in-form Jonathan Clauss netted the opener - his eighth goal contribution in nine matches - before Lucas Paqueta's sublime effort rescued a point for Les Gones.


Having managed to navigate their last 10 matches in the division without defeat - the longest current run in Ligue 1 - Lens remain in the fifth and final European spot after 31 matches and are one of the favourites to book a spot in continental competition, although they could drop out of the top five if Marseille get the better of Montpellier HSC on Saturday.


Furthermore, while Lens are unbeaten in five on home soil, four of those games ended in draws - with their solitary victory in that run coming against whipping boys Dijon in a narrow 2-1 win - and Haise has also witnessed his side keep just one clean sheet in their last 12 at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.


Lens' mediocre home tally is sure to be a point of concern for Haise approaching the final few weeks of the season, especially seeing as they are yet to face Lille or Monaco at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, and a recent coronavirus outbreak is sure to hamper their chances of securing another positive result against their old foes Lorient.


Lorient had to deal with a major COVID-19 cluster of their own during the winter period, and incredibly, Les Merlus' viral outbreak sparked a revival when they made their long-awaited return to Ligue 1 action.


Christophe Pelissier's side are still embroiled in a relegation dogfight, but they have now strung together a five-game unbeaten run in the top flight and claimed a priceless three points against Brest last time out, as Laurent Abergel's effort on the stroke of half time was enough for a 1-0 triumph.


Les Merlus have lost just two of their last 12 games in Ligue 1 and are out of the danger zone for now - although 18th-placed Nimes are only three points adrift of Pelissier's men - and despite their remarkable turnaround in fortunes, all five of Lorient's victories since the end of January have come on home soil.


With only one win on the road all season - fewer than basement side Dijon (2) - Lorient's away day nightmares continue to undo all of their hard work on their own patch, although four of their last five games on unfamiliar territory have ended in draws, and they would certainly accept such a result at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.


A five-goal thriller in September ultimately saw Lens come out on the correct end of the scoreline against Lorient in a 3-2 win, and five of the seven Ligue 1 meetings between the two sides at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis have ended with the spoils shared in a 1-1 stalemate.


Lens Ligue 1 form: WDWDWD

Lens form (all competitions): DWLDWD


Lorient Ligue 1 form: LWDDDW

Lorient form (all competitions): WDLDDW


Team News

Lens did not reveal the identity of the five players who have contracted coronavirus, but reports have named Facundo Medina, Seko Fofana, Loic Bade, Ignatius Ganago and Tony Mauricio as the COVID-positive quintet, while Florian Sotoca has also been ruled out with a calf problem.


Mauricio was never expected to make an appearance from the first whistle here, but Bade's spot in defence should be covered by Massadio Haidara, while Arnaud Kalimuendo and Simon Banza could earn starts top in Sotoca and Ganago's absence.


The loss of midfield lynchpin Fofana is a huge blow to Lens, but Haise may simply opt to switch from a 3-5-2 to his customary 3-4-1-2 this week, allowing Gael Kakuta to return to his number 10 role as Yannick Cahuzac and Cheick Doucoure man the engine room.


Lorient's medical room is slowly emptying at a crucial time for Pelissier, who should be able to welcome experienced defender Jeremy Morel back to the fold after he managed to overcome a hip problem.


Pierre-Yves Hamel has emerged as a minor doubt with ankle discomfort, but he is expected to be fit enough for a spot on the bench as Terem Moffi aims to end his seven-game goal drought this weekend.


Enzo Le Fee is pushing for a recall to the middle of the park, and goalkeeper Paul Nardi is back from a ban, but Pelissier should keep faith in the majority of the XI who starred in their triumph over Brest last weekend.


Lens possible starting lineup:

Leca; Fortes, Gradit, Haidara; Clauss, Cahuzac, Doucoure, Sylla; Kakuta; Banza, Kalimuendo


Lorient possible starting lineup:

Nardi; Chalobah, Gravillon, Laporte; Hergault, Abergel, Lemoine, Le Goff; Lauriente, Moffi, Wissa


Lens VS Lorient

Lens 1-1 Lorient

Other predictions