In Ligue 1, Lens takes on struggling Clermont Foot at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Sunday, March 12, with the goal of winning their third straight game.
Les Sang et Or have drawn their next two games in the top division since beating Nantes 3-1 a month ago. In between, they lost to Nantes 2-1 in the Coupe de France quarterfinal. Franck Haise’s team is now fourth in the league table, just behind AS Monaco on goal difference, with 51 points from 26 games.
Clermont, on the other hand, is 11th in the standings and has accumulated 17 fewer points than Lens. They recently beat Toulouse 1-0 to end a six-game losing streak in the league. Saif-Eddine Khaoui’s goal in the 76th minute earned the Lancers all three points.
Focal point as of late lost steam in their bid for UEFA Champions Association football and will be anxious to resuscitate their charge. Clermont, on the other hand, hasn’t been very convincing lately, but their most recent victory may have given them confidence. However, the visitors’ superior defense should assist them in keeping the Lancers at bay.
Prediction: Clermont Foot 1-2 Lens
Lens has won 25 of their last 25 games, while Clermont has won four of those games. Lens has won each of their previous three encounters with Clermont. Clermont has lost eight games against Lens in all competitions, their longest losing streak since Brest against a current Ligue 1 team.
The hosts have not lost to Lens in nine competitions played at home, with their most recent defeat coming on February 16, 2009, in Ligue 2. In 2023, among teams in the bottom half of the Ligue 1 standings, Clermont scored more points than Toulouse (16). During the same time frame, Lens has amassed 14.
Lens finished 2022 with six victories in their last eight games, despite only winning two of their nine Ligue 1 games since their victory over PSG on January 1. Since January 11, when they played Rennes at home, Clermont has only won one of their last eight Ligue 1 games.
Cedric Hountondji, Clermont’s center back, will be out for a long time with an injury, and Jean-Claude Billong played in his place last time out. He should once more partner Florent Ogier in front of goalkeeper Ouparine Djoco after a commendable defensive performance appeared to have secured a clean sheet.
With seven goals and two assists in 14 league games this season, Mohamed Bayo has impressed, and he will continue to lead the line with confidence. The lens will continue to play despite the absence of crucial winger Wesley Said, who is still out with an injury.
However, the return of forward Arnaud Kalimuendo, who was sent off in the loss to Brest and received a suspension for it, will help them. However, he will have to fight for his place because attackers Gael Kakuta and Florian Sotoca scored in his absence.
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