Can fairytale Lille go four clear on Friday night?
The league leaders who still are not the bookies favourites with just three games remaining travel to an ever impressive newly promoted Lens side looking to fight off Marseille and Rennes to qualify for the Europa Conference League. It has been an amazing first season back in the topflight for the Blood and Gold, managing to sustain their excellent start to the campaign to stay in the European hunt right up to the final day. Les Dogues have given themselves a great chance of just their second league title, fourth in all, since 1954. Christophe Galtier’s impossible dream is three games away from reality.
It is important not to get on board with fairytales in punting, but it is hard not to get sucked in with this Lille story. After a rocky 2019/20 campaign to which they would have probably gone on to seal Champions League qualification if the season was not abandoned, coming after an eye-catching second placed finish in 2018/19. It is an enormous achievement for any Ligue 1 to push Paris Saint-Germain when you compare their balance sheets, let alone pip them. A win here would put huge pressure on PSG who travel to in form Rennes on Sunday, how Lille would love to stretch their lead over the holders to four points on Friday night.
Galtier’s pragmatism may only increase as we near the finish line, but Lens have the artillery to hurt them and the cause to fight till the very end. Lens have post 9.8 more expected goals than Lille this term, yet have seen variance mean they have scored four less. The hosts are all action and will look to disrupt Les Dogues’ methodical approach. This is a big banana skin fixture with simpler affairs against Saint-Etienne and Angers to come.
Harder to call as the visitors will want control above anything in this one, but Lens can certainly breach them. It is a really intriguing matchup.
- Lens have scored in 10 of 10 and all of their last 13.
- Lens have conceded in 10 of 10 and all of their last 13.
- Lens have seen both teams score in all of their last 13.
- Lens have seen over 2.5 goals in 10 of 10.
- Lille have scored in eight of 10.
- Lille have conceded in five of 10.
- Lille have seen both teams score in four of 10.
- Lille have seen over 2.5 goals in four of 10.
It could be a nail biter, as a neutral I am rooting for Lille to get over the line, it will be nervy with Lens, a very fun side to watch.