Soccer France Ligue 1 Prediction
Auxerre vs Lille - Match Preview
⚽ 22 April 2023 - 15:00 GMT +0
In any ordinary Ligue 1 season, they could probably already uncork the very best bottle of a locally produced Burgundy at Auxerre and celebrate a successful return to the top flight. But courtesy of the four relegation slots this year ahead of the league’s curtailment to 18 teams, the newcomers started the round three points out of danger instead of 11, even after completing their longest winning streak of the campaign with a 2-1 triumph at home to Nantes.
“Something is happening and it gives us incredible strength,” boasted manager Christophe Pélissier after the club’s third consecutive victory. Whilst the mood is understandably upbeat, Pélissier’s players can’t get ahead of themselves given a very difficult run home. Auxerre’s three straight wins were all against clubs beneath them in the standings ahead of this round, so a further step up will be required against a top-five opposition.
Lille avenged a shock 1-0 loss to Angers by overcoming a half-time deficit at home to Montpellier (2-1) and, despite trailing at the half-time break four times in their last eight league outings compared with one lead (3x 0-0), continue to collect enough points to remain in contention for a return to European football after missing out this season.
Their trio of contests against Reims, Monaco and Marseille in May will be the ones that attract the most attention, but it is the remaining four - all against clubs starting this round 14th (Auxerre) or lower - that Lille have to take full advantage of to bridge the six-point gap to the top four in which they finished last weekend with.
📋 Players to watch: Nuno Da Costa returned to the Auxerre starting 11 and rewarded management with first-half goals in each of their last two fixtures. Lille’s much-admired striker Jonathan David could be a threat from start to finish, scoring after the break in the last round but twice prior to half-time in the reverse H2H.
⚡ Hot streak: Pélissier’s eight personal clashes with Lille all produced a winner (W3, L5) as well as an average of 3.5 total goals per game.
Lens vs Monaco - Match Preview
⚽ 22 April 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0
Lens missed out on a chance to move within three points of leaders and opponents Paris Saint-Germain last time out after going down 3-1 at the Parc des Princes, and instead, they were leapfrogged by Marseille into second spot. Salis Abdul Samed's 19th-minute dismissal didn't help their cause, and his absence could weigh on this match as Lens have not won either of the two Ligue 1 games he has missed this season (D1, L1).
One of those two games was the Blood and Gold's only league defeat at Stade Bollaert-Delelis this campaign, which says a lot about Lens' home performances this season (W13, D1, L1). Manager Frank Haise must now avoid consecutive league losses for the first time in over a year if his side is to extend their two-point gap to fourth-placed Monaco, and keep alive their UEFA Champions League aspirations.
It is much easier to be the hunter than the hunted, and the Monegasques travel to the north of France with confidence after a four-game unbeaten run (W3, D1), culminating in a 3-1 victory over Lorient last weekend. After that win, manager Philippe Clement said: “These are games that we need to repeat against the big teams” and this matchup against Lens is the perfect occasion to put words into action, as they could leapfrog their opponents in the table with a win.
Playing away from home surely won’t bother Clement’s men too much as they’ve lost only one of their league road trips this campaign (W9, D5), although they failed to win their previous three away outings against current top-half teams (D2, L1). Monaco has enjoyed success at this venue, too, avoiding defeat in their last seven visits here (W3, D4), while scoring an average of 2.4 goals per game!
📋 Players to watch: Lens’ captain Seko Fofana has led his team to victory with his last seven goalscoring Ligue 1 appearances, including their 4-1 H2H win back in August. Aiming to eclipse him will be Monaco’s top scorer Wissam Ben Yedder (G17), although Lens are the team he has faced the most often in Ligue 1 without ever winning (D2, L5).
⚡ Hot streak: Lens have failed to win their three Ligue 1 matches officiated by François Letexier (D2, L1), including their single home loss.
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