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Oct 17, 2021 at 4pm UK
MontpellierMontpellier HSC
Mavididi (47')
Chotard (58'), Esteve (67'), Ferri (68')
Ferri (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Wooh (29'), Costa (62'), Jean (77'), Said (81')

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

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

High-flying Lens travel to Stade de la Mosson to take on Montpellier HSC in the 10th game of this developing Ligue 1 season.

The hosts have had a fairly disappointing start to their campaign and sit 13th in the table, whilst their visitors are overperforming up in second place.

Match preview

Montpellier have produced a mixed season to this point, with two wins, four draws and three defeats from their first eight games.

After losing their opening game of the new campaign at home to Marseille, they accumulated nine points from a possible 15, before suffering an understandable loss away to Paris Saint-Germain, and finally headed into the international break with another draw.

Florent Mollet's goal in the 12th minute was cancelled out by Strasbourg's Kevin Gameiro just before the half-hour mark, and neither side was able to find a winner, which is perhaps why they both find themselves stuck in mid-table.

That result means that Olivier Dall'Oglio has seen his side go four games and now over a month without a win, and he will be determined to rectify that against a team which they have beaten twice in their last three encounters.

This is not the Lens side of old, however. Franck Haise's men finished seventh in Ligue 1 last term, which represented an impressive campaign on their return to the top flight, and many fans would have been happy to see the team simply consolidate themselves as a top-half regular this season.

They have gone far beyond that, though, losing just once in their first nine games - against Strasbourg in their seventh match - and winning the other four of their five most recent games.

Their most recent outing was a comfortable 2-0 victory at home against 10-man Reims, with Arnaud Kalimuendo grabbing a brace via a penalty in first-half stoppage time and a neat finish from a pinpoint Florian Sotoca through-ball early in the second half.

That run of form leaves Lens in a very strong second place and Haise will be confident of further strengthening their grip on the position this weekend.

Montpellier HSC Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D

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

Team News

Mamadou Sakho made his return against Strasbourg before the break and should start on Sunday as part of a back four in which Arnaud Souquet seems to have replaced Junior Sambia as first-choice right-back.

Pedro Mendes and Thuler remain long-term absences as they recover from ACL and thigh injuries respectively, but Ambroise Oyongo is getting closer to a return and could finally make the bench.

With centre-back Facundo Medina returning from suspension, Haise has near enough a full squad of players to choose from - only Corentin Jean looks set to be out through injury.

After their strong recent results, the manager is unlikely to make any changes to his starting XI, bar the return of Medina to a back three.

Montpellier HSC possible starting lineup:
Omlin; Souquet, Esteve, Sakho, Ristic; Ferri, Chotard; Mollet, Savanier, Mavididi, Germain

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

We say: Montpellier HSC 2-2 Lens

This should be an entertaining match-up between a Montpellier team who almost always score and a Lens side high on confidence. We are backing a high-scoring draw, which both teams would probably be fairly content with.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away 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/Away:data

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