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France Ligue 1 - Match Prediction: Lens VS Nimes
Match Time：4/25/2021 21:00 Sunday (GMT+8)
France Ligue 1 -- Lens VS Nimes
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Lens will look to extend their unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to 13 games when they play host to Nimes on Sunday at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.
One of the hottest teams in France, Lens, are coming off a 1-1 draw with Brest, while Nimes are winless in their last three league games after conceding a late goal to Strasbourg in a 1-1 draw last weekend.
After earning promotion to the French top flight last season, Lens have enjoyed a monumental rise in Ligue 1.
Manager Franck Haise has implemented an effective 3-4-1-2 system that his team have executed brilliantly of late, particularly at home, where they have not lost in their last six Ligue 1 fixtures.
With Marseille and Rennes nipping at their heels, Haise knows his team need to keep winning to hold their current position in the standings, which would earn them a qualification spot for the Europa Conference League playoff round next season.
If Lens can earn a winning result this weekend, they would become just the third promoted team to go unbeaten in 13 consecutive league matches, after Reims in 2018-19 and Saint-Etienne in 2004-05.
This is a critical game for Sang et Or, who have arguably the toughest schedule of any Ligue 1 team down the stretch, facing Paris Saint-Germain, Lille and Monaco in three of their final four games.
Pascal Plancque deserves a ton of credit for how he has transformed Les Crocodiles, but he knows they still have work to do.
After upsetting league leaders Lille 2-1, his side have faltered, losing 2-0 to Saint-Etienne before squandering back-to-back leads against Brest and Strasbourg.
Nimes would like to avoid a relegation playoff which could drop them down into Ligue 2 for the first time since 2017-18.
Salvation is within reach for Plancque and his team as they are just one point behind Lorient in the Ligue 1 table.
Lens Ligue 1 form: WDWDWD
Lens form (all competitions): LDWDWD
Nimes Ligue 1 form: LDWLDD
Lens will have to make some changes in defence with centre-back Steven Fortes suspended and Clement Michelin nursing a muscle injury, which means Cheick Traore could be one of the starting 11 players, assuming he is healthy after testing positive for COVID.
Their second-leading scorer Florian Sotoca could miss his fourth match with a calf injury, and Adam Oudjani could be out due to an injury as well.
In the absence of Sotoca, Gael Kakuta has stepped up, scoring in each of his last two games to lead the team, while he is just one assist behind Jonathan Clauss for the team lead.
Plancque has the luxury of a fully fit squad which he will need down the stretch if they are to remain in Ligue 1 beyond this season.
With an assist on Sunday, midfielder Zinedine Ferhat could move into a three-way tie for most in the league, while leading goalscorer Renaud Ripart will try to score his 10th goal this season.
Lens possible starting lineup:
Leca; Haidara, Bade, Traore; Sylla, Doucoure, Cahuzac, Clauss; Kakuta; Kalimuendo, Jean
Nimes possible starting lineup:
Reynet; Alakouch, Guessoum, Miguel, Meling; Deaux; Ferhat, Fomba, Benrahou, Ripart; Kone
Lens vs Nimes
Lens 1-0 Nimes
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