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Dec 10, 2021 at 8pm UK
NantesNantes
3-2
LensLens
Kolo (49', 57'), Simon (90')
Girotto (31'), Blas (60'), Chirivella (76')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Costa (7'), Kalimuendo (14')
Haidara (46'), Gradit (60'), Medina (61')

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

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

Nantes welcome Lens to the Stade de la Beaujoire on Friday evening for the opening game of Ligue 1's 18th and penultimate round of games before the winter break.

The hosts finally ended their winless streak last weekend, whilst their upcoming opponents very nearly took three points off runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain.


Match preview

In their defence, Nantes' five-game run without a win was fairly understandable when you consider that it contained games against PSG, reigning champions Lille and second-placed Marseille.

The table-toppers required two late goals to beat them at the Parc des Princes, the champions could only manage a draw at home and Marseille were kept to a narrow 1-0 win, despite Nantes being reduced to 10 men.

Those results may even have built in confidence in the squad and, either way, their recent persistence paid off on Sunday when they ended their winless streak away at Lorient.

It took Les Canaris until the 83rd minute to break down their struggling hosts, but Wylan Cyprien's turn and finish into the bottom corner was enough to secure a 1-0 victory and give Antoine Kombouare's men breathing space in mid-table.

They will now have to repeat the feat against a tougher opposition, and one which they have not beaten since 2014.

Lens' eye-catching start to the season - earning 18 points from the opening nine matches - had slowed slightly in recent weeks and they came into the match with PSG having managed just two wins in their last seven games.

As has often been the case with the league leaders this season, though, they allowed their opposition to take the lead, Seko Fofana's strike finding its way past Keylor Navas to put the hosts deservedly ahead.

Les Sang et Or nearly doubled their lead when David Costa struck the post in the second half, but Mauricio Pochettino turned the tide with a triple substitution and two of those new players combined for a late equaliser.

Kylian Mbappe's cross found the head of Georginio Wijnaldum and the Dutchman made it 1-1 in the 91st minute, resulting in a third successive draw for Lens.

Nonetheless, this remains an impressive campaign for a club only promoted to the top tier 18 months ago and Franck Haise will fancy his side's chances of improving on the 1-1 draws the two sides produced in their encounters last campaign.

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

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

Team News

The hosts remain without the services of Sebastien Corchia, Renaud Emond and Roli Pereira de Sa, who have been sidelined by hamstring, muscle and collarbone injuries respectively.

They will have defender and captain Nicolas Pallois back having served his suspension for a red card, with Andrei Girotto likely to make way in the backline.

As for Lens, forwards Gael Kakuta and Wesley Said are still a couple of weeks away from full fitness, meaning Florian Sotoca, Costa and Arnaud Kalimuendo are set to remain the front three.

Deiver Machado is a longer-term absence with a meniscus injury, but fellow defenders Jonathan Clauss and Cheick Doucoure are due to return from suspension.

Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Merlin, Girotto, Pallois, Appiah; Cyprien, Chirivella; Kolo Muani, Blas, Simon; Coulibaly

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


We say: Nantes 0-1 Lens

Nantes will have gained some confidence from their recent win, but Lens likely gained more from their draw against the mighty PSG. We are backing them to defy their recent away record and secure a narrow victory.



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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Ligue 1 Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG19144139172246
2Nice19104529171233
3Marseille1896326151133
4Rennes1994634181631
5Montpellier HSCMontpellier199463324931
6MonacoMonaco198562923629
7NantesNantes198472523228
8Lille197752626028
9Lens197663328527
10StrasbourgStrasbourg1875634241026
11Angers196762627-125
12Brest196762628-225
13Lyon186752626024
14Reims195862222023
15Troyes1945101828-1017
16Clermont184592032-1217
17Bordeaux193883043-1317
18Metz193792339-1616
19Lorient193791531-1616
20Saint-EtienneSt Etienne1926111740-2312
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

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Ligue 1 Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG19144139172246
2Nice19104529171233
3Marseille1896326151133
4Rennes1994634181631
5Montpellier HSCMontpellier199463324931
6MonacoMonaco198562923629
7NantesNantes198472523228
8Lille197752626028
9Lens197663328527
10StrasbourgStrasbourg1875634241026
11Angers196762627-125
12Brest196762628-225
13Lyon186752626024
14Reims195862222023
15Troyes1945101828-1017
16Clermont184592032-1217
17Bordeaux193883043-1317
18Metz193792339-1616
19Lorient193791531-1616
20Saint-EtienneSt Etienne1926111740-2312
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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