Soccer France Ligue 1 Prediction
Lorient vs Lens - Match Preview
⚽ 21 May 2023 - 15:05 GMT +0
Mid-table Lorient was on the cusp of securing three consecutive Ligue 1 wins for the first time since early October on Sunday, but a stoppage-time goal forced them to accept a "frustrating" 1-1 draw at Montpellier, in the words of coach Régis Le Bris. As a result, Les Merlus find themselves eight points adrift of the top five ahead of the round, and with only three games left, it would take a miracle to secure a return to the European stage after a 20-year absence.
Setting a new club record for the highest number of points in a single top-flight campaign could at the very least offer some solace for Lorient, but they’ll need seven points from those remaining games to surpass the 58 points achieved in 2009/10! Keeping alive those hopes will require a positive result against high-flying Lens at Stade du Moustoir, but a 2-0 win in the corresponding fixture last season does hint that another upset is possible.
Lens showed great spirit despite playing with ten men for over 70 minutes in their 2-1 win against Reims last weekend, a performance which speaks volumes of the character within the group. Franck Haise’s men make the trip to Brittany knowing their first top-three finish in the top-flight since 2001/02 is already assured, but they will be determined to go one better and wrap up second place to avoid any UEFA Champions League (UCL) qualifiers.
The Blood and Gold will now put forth their utmost effort to retain their two-point lead over Marseille to rubber stamp their first appearance in the UCL group stage in two decades. While his team has managed three wins ‘to nil’ in four Ligue 1 road trips (D1), Haise’s men are handicapped by the suspension of their centre-back Kevin Danso, an integral part of Lens’ three-man defensive setup.
📋 Players to watch: In-form Romain Faivre has contributed to a goal in each of Lorient's previous three outings (G1, A2) and he scored in a 4-0 home victory against Lens whilst playing for Brest last season! Lens will hope Florian Sotoca can find the net given he has led his team to victory in his four goal-scoring appearances this season, including a brace in their 5-2 win in the reverse H2H.
⚡ Hot stat: No Ligue 1 team has conceded fewer than Lorient’s five home first-half goals in 2022/23.
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