MX23RW : Tuesday, May 21 07:18:08| >> :120:39418:39418:
[monks data]
Lens logo
Ligue 1 | Gameweek 8
Oct 8, 2023 at 4.05pm UK
Stade Bollaert-Delelis

1 - 1

Machado (70')
Medina (17'), Haise (56'), Wahi (81')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Andre (45+3')
Cavaleiro (20'), Alexsandro (68'), Gomes (82'), Yoro (90')

Preview: Lens vs. Lille - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Lens and Lille, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Lens will be aiming to make it three successive wins in Ligue 1 when they host Lille in the Derby du Nord on Sunday.

The visitors, meanwhile, head to Lens four points ahead of their opponents after beating Le Havre last weekend.

Match preview

Lens' Elye Wahi celebrates scoring their second goal on October 3, 2023© Reuters

After enjoying their most successful season for over 20 years when finishing second and qualifying for the Champions League last time out, Lens endured an extremely slow start to the current campaign, collecting just one point from their opening five games.

However, Franck Haise's side have looked more like their older selves in recent weeks, with their 1-1 draw away to Sevilla in their opening Champions League fixture seemingly stopping the rot in terms of defeats. Selling their star striker Lois Openda to RB Leipzig during the summer was always likely to take time to overcome, both mentally and tactically, but they appear to be getting there.

Since holding Sevilla, the Blood and Gold have beaten Toulouse and Strasbourg to move outside of the relegation places in the league, before they came from behind to defeat English Premier League runners-up Arsenal at Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Tuesday evening.

Gabriel Jesus had provided the visitors with the lead inside 14 minutes, but goals from Adrien Thomasson and Elye Wahi handed their side a famous victory, with their prospects of reaching the knockout stage of Europe's elite competition significantly boosted in the process.

Haise and his players undoubtedly benefitted from a frenzied home atmosphere against the Gunners, and they will be counting on replicating that for the Northern derby on Sunday, especially having failed to beat them in a crucial encounter earlier this year in March.

Lille's Carlos Baleba in action with Lens' Alexis Claude Maurice on October 9, 2022© Reuters

Indeed, Lille are unlikely to be relishing the prospect of visiting their resurgent arch-rivals this weekend, particularly having returned from the Faroe Islands without winning after being held 0-0 by KI Klaksvik in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

Paulo Fonseca's side joined the likes of Ferencvaros, Hacken, Molde and Sheriff Tiraspol in either being beaten or held at Djupumyra Stadium this season, but they will still fancy their chances of comfortably progressing to the knockout stages of Europe's third competition after beating Olimpija on the opening matchday.

Domestically, there was a clear comedown after their shock title win in the 2020-21 campaign, as Lille dropped down to 10th in the ensuing season. However, Fonseca guided them to a respectable fifth-placed finish last time out, and they find themselves in seventh position after returning to winning ways away to Le Havre last time out in Ligue 1.

With only three points separating themselves and league leaders Monaco ahead of a ball being kicked this weekend, there is clear incentive for the Mastiffs to return from Lens with a victory, but given the difficulty away teams often have at Stade Bollaert-Delelis, they would almost certainly settle for a point if they can grab one.

Lens Ligue 1 form:

Lens form (all competitions):

Lille Ligue 1 form:

Lille form (all competitions):

Team News

Lens' Adrien Thomasson celebrates scoring their first goal with Florian Sotoca on October 3, 2023© Reuters

Lens will be without Jonathan Gradit for one match due to suspension, meaning natural holding midfielder Salis Abdul Samed may need to fill in out of position at right centre-back.

Massadio Haidara, David Costa, Jimmy Cabot and Wuilker Farinez all remain sidelined through injury, with Haise likely to be pondering whether to reward the bulk of the starting XI which defeated Arsenal with another opportunity to impress in a big game.

However, Andy Diouf will almost certainly return to the side given Gradit's unavailability, while Angelo Fulgini and Ruben Aguilar will be at the forefront of their manager's mind.

Lille, meanwhile, made eight changes for their trip to the Faroe Islands in midweek, with the likes of Jonathan David, Andre Gomes and Remy Cabella all dropping down to the bench.

That trio will almost certainly join the likes of Bafode Diakite and Ismaily in returning to the visitors' starting XI, but Nabil Bentaleb, Samuel Umtiti and Adam Ounas appear set to miss out on featuring in the derby due to injury.

Lens possible starting lineup:
Samba; Samed, Danso, Medina; Frankowski, Mendy, Diouf, Machado; Sotoca, Thomasson; Wahi

Lille possible starting lineup:
Chevalier; Diakite, Yoro, Alexsandro, Ismaily; Andre, Gomes; Zhegrova, Cabella, Cavaleiro; David

SM words green background

We say: Lens 2-1 Lille

Lens won 17 of their 19 home games in Ligue 1 last season, with Lille one of only two teams who prevented them from winning, ultimately costing Haise's side the title given that they finished one point behind champions Paris Saint-Germain.

As such, we could be in store for a tasty Northern derby on Sunday, with Lens appearing to be in good shape to gain a victory given that they have won three matches in a row in all competitions.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

ID:525864:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect14344:

Previews by email

Click here to get Sports Mole's daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!

Game History

How you voted: Lens vs Lille

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta pictured on October 4, 2023
Read Next:
Mikel Arteta: 'Arsenal have no excuses for Lens defeat'
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.
rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
CParis Saint-GermainPSG342210281334876
12Montpellier HSCMontpellier341012124348-541
15Le HavreLe Havre34711163445-1132

Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!