Saturday, November 20
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Nov 5, 2021 at 8pm UK
Kalimuendo (14'), Said (30'), Clauss (35'), Frankowski (60')
Ganago (69')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Batlles (15'), Rodrigues (74')

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

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

Troyes will be looking to continue their impressive run of form in Ligue 1 when they head to Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Friday night to take on high-flying Lens.

The home side are currently fourth in the table, having collected 21 points from their opening 12 matches of the season, while Troyes occupy 14th with 13 points to show from their first 12 games.

Match preview

Lens have won six, drawn three and lost three of their 12 Ligue 1 matches this season to collect 21 points, which has left them in fourth position in the table, just two points behind second-placed Nice.

Sang et Or finished seventh last term on their return to France's top flight, and it has been a hugely positive start to the 2021-22 campaign for the club, who would move into second spot with a win here.

Lens have struggled to show consistency in recent weeks, though, picking up just one victory from their last three matches, losing twice in the process, including at Lyon last time out.

Franck Haise's side found themselves two goals behind in the first half at Groupama Stadium and although Arnaud Kalimuendo-Muinga strike halved the deficit just before the hour, the visitors could not find another to level.

Lens have only lost once in front of their own supporters this season, though, and the recent victories over Reims and Metz, where they scored six times, should mean that confidence is high ahead of this game.

Troyes, meanwhile, will bring a three-game unbeaten run into Friday's contest, impressively picking up seven points from their recent matches with Nice, Reims and Rennes.

Laurent Batlles's side secured a return to Ligue 1 by finishing at the top of Ligue 2 last season, winning 23 of their 38 league matches during an impressive campaign, which saw them finish five points clear of second-place Clermont.

Troyes have won three, drawn four and lost five of their 12 league matches this term to collect 13 points, which has left them in 14th position in the table, four points clear of the relegation zone.

ESTAC have won just eight of their previous 28 matches against Lens, though, and have lost three of the last four meetings between the two sides in all competitions, including a 1-0 defeat when the pair last locked horns in Ligue 2 back in February 2020.

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

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

Team News

Lens will again be missing Ignatius Ganago on Friday night due to a knee injury, but the home side are otherwise in strong shape, meaning that Haise has a number of difficult decisions to make.

Gael Kakuta and David Costa were among five players to come off the bench in the defeat to Lyon, and the pair will be in contention to start this match.

That said, Haise will have been content with what he saw from his side for long stages of the defeat at Groupama Stadium, so it would not be a shock to see the same XI take to the field, with Wesley Said and Florian Sotoca again joining Kalimuendo-Muinga in the final third of the field.

As for Troyes, a lengthy injury list still includes Gerson Rodrigues, Yasser Larouci, Philippe Sandler, Tanguy Banhie-Zoukrou, Florian Tardieu, Karim Azamoum and Metinho.

The visitors could also be without Tristan Dingome, who was on the scoresheet in the 2-2 draw with Rennes last weekend, with Youssouf Kone in line to start as his replacement.

Nassim Chadli is also pressing to be involved in the first XI, but a 5-4-1 formation should again include Renaud Ripart despite the fact that the 28-year-old is still waiting for his first league goal of the season.

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

Troyes possible starting lineup:
Gallon; Kabore, Rami, Giraudon, Salmier, Biancone; Kone, Kouame, Chavalerin, Balde; Ripart

We say: Lens 2-1 Troyes

Lens will be pleased to be back on home soil, having won three of their last four matches in front of their own supporters. Troyes have been impressive in recent weeks, but we are expecting Haise's team to edge a tight match in order to collect another three points.

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:data

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