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Lens logo
Ligue 1 | Gameweek 5
Sep 16, 2023 at 8pm UK
Stade Bollaert-Delelis
Metz logo

Lens
0 - 1
Metz


Wahi (64')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Asoro (37')
Asoro (33'), Cande (64')

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

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

Following a damaging four-game winless run, Lens will be looking to kick-start their Ligue 1 campaign when Metz visit the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Saturday evening.

Last season's runners-up have taken just one point from a possible 12 this term, while the newly-promoted Maroons have picked up five points from their opening four matches.


Match preview

Lens' Deiver Machado celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 20, 2023© Reuters

Lens' season went from bad to worse as they endured a 3-0 defeat to Monaco before the international break, meaning that Franck Haise's side find themselves second from bottom in the Ligue 1 table with only one point to their name.

After throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 against Brest on the opening weekend, the Blood and Gold played out a 1-1 draw with Rennes in their next match, but they swiftly returned to losing ways at Parc des Princes, suffering a 3-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

It is worth remembering that Lens finished a solitary point behind PSG last season, pushing the perennial champions all the way while losing just four of their 38 league outings - and they also posted the best defensive record for good measure.

Heading into the fifth round of fixtures this term, Haise's men sit joint-bottom of the table with the joint-worst defensive record in the division, struggling to cope without key performers like Lois Openda and Seko Fofana, who left the club this summer.

RC Lens coach Franck Haise applauds fans after the match on May 21, 2023© Reuters

Having gained automatic promotion from the second tier last season, Metz are back in Ligue 1 following a one-year absence, and Les Grenats have enjoyed a promising start to their comeback campaign, recording one win, two draws and one loss so far.

Following a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Rennes on the opening weekend, Metz bounced back with an impressive 2-2 draw against Marseille, coming from behind to snatch a point on home soil, despite playing the final 30 minutes with 10 men due to Ababacar Lo's red card.

Metz picked up their first win of the season at the third attempt, claiming a 1-0 victory over Clermont thanks to Georges Mikautadze's 69th-minute strike, and they followed up that triumph with a 2-2 draw against Reims last time out, coming from behind once again.

Led by 70-year-old Romanian coach Laszlo Boloni - who briefly managed Lens back in 2011 - Les Grenats will fancy their chances of getting something from Saturday's clash, as Lens are down in the dumps following a dismal start to the season.

Lens Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Lens form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Metz Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D

Metz form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D


Team News

Lens' Przemyslaw Frankowski celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 7, 2023© Reuters

Lens' problems are not helped by a number of injury absentees, with Ruben Aguilar, Jimmy Cabot (knee), Wuilker Farinez (knee) and Przemyslaw Frankowski (thigh) all expected to miss Saturday's showdown.

New signing Elye Wahi - who chalked up 19 goals and six assists in 33 Ligue 1 appearances for Montpellier last season - will continue to lead the line for the hosts, while Adrien Thomasson and Angelo Fulgini will offer attacking support to the lone striker.

At the opposite end of the pitch, former Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Brice Samba will retain his place between the sticks, having recently been nominated for the Yashin Trophy after keeping a league-high 15 clean sheets last term.

As for Metz, Ababacar Lo will miss the trip to the Stade Bollaert-Delelis through suspension, while Malick Mbaye and Benjamin Tetteh are expected to be absent due to injury.

Laszlo Boloni looks set to continue with his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation this weekend, meaning that Simon Elisor will spearhead the visitors' attack, with Kevin N'Doram and Danley Jean Jacques anchoring the midfield.


Lens possible starting lineup:
Samba; Gradit, Danso, Medina; Sotoca, Abdul Samed, Spierings, Haidara; Thomasson, Fulgini; Wahi

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Kouao, Sane, Cande, Udol; N'Doram, Jacques; Asoro, Camara, Sabaly; Elisor


SM words green background

We say: Lens 1-0 Metz

It is no secret that Lens have endured a below-par start to 2023-24, but Saturday's clash provides last season's runners-up with the ideal opportunity to pick up their first win of the campaign.

Given that Metz have avoided defeat in each of their last three games, we expect the visitors to give the hosts a run for their money, but Haise's men should finally get off the mark this weekend.



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


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data


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Game History

How you voted: Lens vs Metz

Lens
91.3%
Draw
4.3%
Metz
4.3%
23
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Montpellier HSC striker Elye Wahi pictured in October 2022
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rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CParis Saint-GermainPSG342210281334876
2MonacoMonaco34207768422667
3Brest341710753341961
4Lille341611752341859
5Nice341510940291155
6Lyon34165134955-653
7Lens34149114537851
8Marseille3413111052411150
9Reims34138134247-547
10Rennes341210125346746
11Toulouse341110134246-443
12Montpellier HSCMontpellier341012124348-541
13StrasbourgStrasbourg34109153850-1239
14NantesNantes3496193055-2533
15Le HavreLe Havre34711163445-1132
16Lorient3478194366-2329
17Metz3485213558-2329
RClermont34510192660-3425


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