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Ligue 1 | Gameweek 34
May 19, 2024 at 8pm UK
Stade Bollaert-Delelis

2 - 2

Wahi (4'), Machado (45+3')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Maamma (58'), Mincarelli (74')
Khazri (90+5')

Preview: Lens vs. Montpellier HSC - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Sixth-placed Lens are set to take on 12th-placed Montpellier HSC in the final game of the 2023-24 Ligue 1 season at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Sunday evening.

While the visitors have little left to play for, only able to move one up or down the table, the hosts will be fighting to secure qualification into European competition for next term.

Match preview

Lens coach Franck Haise on February 15, 2024© Reuters

Having been appointed as manager in February 2020 Franck Haise has overseen an incredible rise to the top of French football from Lens, guiding them from Ligue 2 to the heights of a second-place finish last season, only missing out on an incredible title victory by a point.

The beginning of this term saw Lens struggle to achieve the same performances they provided last year, losing four and drawing one of their opening five league games.

After nine matchdays Haise's men still found themselves near the bottom of the table, residing in 15th, but just three losses in the following 16 matches saw them quickly rise into the top six.

Recent results going against them, losing four and drawing two of their last eight, has allowed for Lyon to catch up with the Blood and Gold with only a higher goal difference currently keeping Lens in the European places.

If Haise's team are to qualify for European competition in back-to-back years then they must match Lyon's result on the final day of the season, with a swing of 15 goal difference being needed for Lyon to leapfrog the hosts if both sides are to win.

Montpellier's Teji Savanier celebrates scoring their second goal on March 17, 2024© Reuters

While their opponents are in 12th coming into this one, Montpellier should not be overlooked as they have lost just one of their last seven outings and gone unbeaten in their past five away fixtures.

A poor season had seen Michel Der Zakarian's side flirting with relegation for large periods but a recent upturn in form has seen them secure safety, leaving them only able to reach a high of 11th and low of 13th on the final day.

While Montpellier's home results have been the main reason for their struggles in Ligue 1, they have amassed 23 points from 16 matches on the road, the joint fifth-highest across the division.

This fixture has been incredibly tight over the past years with only one of the last nine meetings seeing the two separated by more than a single goal come the end of the 90 minutes.

Lens Ligue 1 form:

Montpellier HSC Ligue 1 form:

Team News

Lens' Massadio Haidara celebrates scoring a disallowed goal with teammates on February 15, 2024© Reuters

The hosts are set to be without up to five players as they fight to secure sixth place.

Jimmy Cabot, Neil El Aynaoui, Kevin Danso and Jhoanner Chavez are all ruled out with injuries.

Elye Wahi had to sit out of his side's 1-1 draw with Stade Rennes last weekend due to suspension, but Lens' top scorer is expected to lead the line in this one.

As for the visitors, top performer and captain Teji Savanier is suspended for the final day after a red card against Toulouse at the beginning of the month.

Benjamin Lecomte, Kiki Kouyate and Axel Gueguin are all also ruled out due to injury issues.

Lucas Mincarelli and Arnaud Nordin could provide boosts to the Montpellier squad as they return from suspension.

Lens possible starting lineup:
Samba; Haidara, Gradit, Medina; Frankowski, Mendy, Costa, Machado; Sotoca, Wahi, Fulgini

Montpellier HSC possible starting lineup:
Bertaud; Hefti, Jullien, Sagnan, Sylla; Chotard, Omeragic, Ferri; Adams, Al-Taamari, Nordin

SM words green background

We say: Lens 1-0 Montpellier HSC

Lens will have the motivation of European football being on the line in this game, while the visitors have nothing left to play for, leading us to believe the hosts will win this one.

One goal has been the difference in five of the last six victories for either side in this fixture, and we believe this one will follow the same pattern with a 1-0 win for Lens.

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

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Lens' Massadio Haidara celebrates scoring a disallowed goal with teammates on February 15, 2024
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