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Oct 16, 2021 at 4pm UK
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Preview: Clermont vs. Lille - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Lille will look to continue their recent progress up the Ligue 1 table when they travel to the Stade Gabriel-Montpied to take on Clermont on Saturday.

The reigning champions are now up to eighth, whilst their hosts sit 15th having gone over a month without a win.

Match preview

Newly-promoted Clermont were the surprise package of the early weeks of the 2021-22 Ligue 1 season, winning their opening two games and going unbeaten in their first four.

However, a heavy 4-0 loss away to an all-conquering Paris Saint-Germain side in gameweek five seemed to knock their confidence as they have struggled since, picking up just two points, and now find themselves on a seven-game winless run.

One of those points came in their most recent game, though, when they played out a 1-1 draw at Lorient, with Mohamed Bayo's first-half strike being cancelled out by Julien Laporte not long after the break and neither team then able to find a winner.

A draw will, at least, stop the rot after poor results in their previous two fixtures - a 6-0 thrashing away at Rennes and a 3-1 loss at home to Monaco - and perhaps Pascal Gastien can use it to salvage some confidence amongst his men.

They will face a tough task, however, as they take on the resurgent champions.

Serious questions were being asked of new manager Jocelyn Gourvennec's appointment, as last year's victors produced a stuttering start to their campaign.

His side could manage only one win in their first six league games and fell to three defeats during that time - a 1-0 loss to Lens, following a 2-1 defeat at Lorient and an embarrassing 4-0 thumping at the hands of former manager Christophe Galtier, now in charge of Nice.

Gourvennec's men have turned things around, though, and are now on a run of three back-to-back victories, ignoring a Champions League defeat to Red Bull Salzburg in the middle.

The most recent of which came when Jonathan David continued his red-hot scoring streak, netting both goals in a 2-0 win over a strong Marseille side before the international break.

It would appear that Les Dogues have rediscovered their appetite and, at the moment, their bite is just as bad as their bark.

Clermont Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D

Lille Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

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

Team News

Clermont are the team to have fielded the oldest starting XI on average since the start of the Ligue 1 season, with experienced players like Florent Ogier, Johan Gastien and Jason Berthomier taking the average age to 28 years and 48 days.

They will need to draw on that experience to end this winless streak, but will also need some help from the youthful exuberance of 23-year-old Bayo, who has scored their only goal in the last two matches.

Les Lanciers will be without Saif-Eddine Khaoui, who has a muscle injury, and Jim Allevinah, who is struggling with a thigh issue.

Lille are unfortunate to potentially be without their two main goal threats, as the in-form David will only just have returned from international duty with Canada and fellow striker Burak Yilmaz is suspended.

Gourvennec will have to make the call on whether the Canadian is ready to feature on Saturday, less than 48 hours after having crossed the Atlantic.

Defender Reinildo is also banned for one game, which will leave either Domagoj Bradaric or Gabriel Gudmundsson to deputise at left-back.

Clermont possible starting lineup:
Desmas; Zedadka, Hountondji, Ogier, N'Simba; Gastien, Abdul Samed; Dossou, Berthomier, Rashani; Bayo

Lille possible starting lineup:
Grbic; Celik, Fonte, Botman, Gudmundsson; Sanches, Xeka, Andre, Bamba; David, Ikone

We say: Clermont 1-1 Lille

Whilst Lille come into this match in good form and as reigning champions against a side who were playing Ligue 2 football when they won the title, we can see this being a closely-contested game.

The hosts are determined to end their recent run of form and have generally been strong on home turf, and there is a good chance the visitors will be without their two main sources of goals. The result here may well depend on the inclusion of David.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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 1.5:data

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