Monday, December 6
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Dec 1, 2021 at 8pm UK
Magnin (41'), Bayo (65')
Gastien (9'), Ogier (38'), Gastien (62'), Hamel (81'), Gastien (85'), Dossou (86')
Diaby (84')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Gastien (12' og.), Fofana (47')
Danso (15'), Haidara (36'), Clauss (56'), Frankowski (69'), Jean (90+5')

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

:Headline: Preview: Clermont vs. Lens - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Ligue 1 clash between Clermont and Lens, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Clermont play host to Lens on Wednesday, in an important game at both ends of the Ligue 1 table.

The visitors have dropped to fifth after a small slump in form, while their hosts currently occupy the relegation playoff place with just a one-point lead over the bottom two.

Match preview

Following their promotion from the second tier, Clermont caught eyes at the beginning of the Ligue 1 campaign, defeating Bordeaux and Troyes and drawing with Lyon in their first three games.

Their ongoing form has not followed that path though, with Les Lanciers winning just one of the 13 games since their first two.

Pascal Gastien's side now head into Wednesday's game in a run of five consecutive league defeats, firstly losing to Nantes, Marseille and Saint-Etienne, who sat bottom at the time, prior to the international break in November.

Les Lanciers were unable to correct their form upon their return to action, losing 2-1 to Nice before a 91st-minute Ghislain Konan goal made the difference in a 1-0 win for fellow strugglers Reims last time out.

Now sitting in the relegation playoff place, and with the risk of quickly dropping into the bottom two, Gastien's men will be desperate to put an end to their slump and climb out of the bottom three with a crucial win on Wednesday.

That will be no easy task though, as a high-flying Lens side arrive looking to make a return to winning ways of their own.

Wednesday's visitors started the Ligue 1 season in eye-catching fashion, earning 18 points from the opening nine matches, but they have since seen their consistency slip slightly.

While they bounced back from a loss to Montpellier with a 4-1 win over Metz and a defeat to Lyon with a 4-0 thrashing of Troyes, Les Sang et Or have now won just two of their last six games, with the most recent win followed by a heavy 4-0 loss of their own.

That came against Brest, as Steve Mounie, Brendan Chardonnet, Romain Faivre and Jeremy Le Douaron all helped themselves to goals, before Franck Haise's side were held to a 2-2 draw by Angers last time out with Romain Thomas drawing the visitors level after 70 minutes.

As a result of their slight slip, The Blood and Gold have now fallen out of the top three and down to fifth spot, but with just one point separating them and third-placed Nice, Haise's men have the incentive to quickly bounce back to their best form.

Clermont Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

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

Team News

Clermont centre-back Cedric Hountondji will miss a lengthy spell through injury, and Jean-Claude Billong filled in at the back last time out.

After a commendable defensive showing looked set to have earned a clean sheet, he should again partner Florent Ogier in front of goalkeeper Ouparine Djoco.

Mohamed Bayo has impressed this season, netting seven goals and providing two assists in 14 league games, and he will continue to lead the line with confidence.

Lens will continue to play without important winger Wesley Said, who remains on the sidelines with an injury.

However, they will be boosted by the return of forward Arnaud Kalimuendo, who served a suspension last time out after he was sent off in the defeat to Brest.

He will have to battle for his place though, after attackers Gael Kakuta and Florian Sotoca both got on the scoresheet in his absence.

Clermont possible starting lineup:
Djoco; Zedadka, Bilong, Ogia, N'Simba; Samed, Gastien; Dossou, Berthomier, Allevinah; Bayo

Lens possible starting lineup:
Leca; Gradit, Danso, Medina; Clauss, Doucoure, Fofana, Frankowski; Kakuta; Sotoca, Kalimuendo

We say: Clermont 0-2 Lens

While Lens are far from their best, they meet a Clermont side lacking any confidence and should be able to get over the line.

Since the rapid start, the hosts have struggled to adjust to life in the top flight, and we see them being brushed aside by a strong Lens team.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:curl

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