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Preview: Lille vs. Lorient - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Lille will be looking to stretch their unbeaten run of form in Ligue 1 to nine matches when they continue their campaign at home to Lorient on Wednesday night.

The home side are currently 10th in Ligue 1, having picked up just 29 points from their opening 20 matches of the season, while Lorient occupy 18th, level on points (17) with 17th-placed Troyes.

Match preview

Lille are the reigning champions in Ligue 1, having won their fourth title last season, but it would be fair to say that it has been a disappointing defence for the club thus far.

Les Dogues have won seven, drawn eight and lost five of their 20 league matches this term to collect 29 points, which has left them in 10th spot in the table, some 21 points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain.

Lille are only eight points behind third-placed Marseille, though, and will believe that they are capable of moving up the division in the coming weeks, especially as their recent form has been impressive.

Jocelyn Gourvennec's side are on a eight-game unbeaten run in France's top flight, including three wins from their last five matches, and they played out a 1-1 draw with Marseille on Sunday.

Lille have won two of their last three Ligue 1 meetings with Lorient but suffered a 2-1 defeat when they travelled to the strugglers for the reverse match back in September.

Lorient, meanwhile, currently occupy 18th position in Ligue 1, having collected 17 points from their opening 20 matches of the season, recording just three wins in the process.

Les Merlus, who finished 16th in France's top flight last term, will enter this match off the back of successive draws with PSG and Angers either side of the winter break.

Lorient have not actually been victorious in the league since beating Nice on September 22, but they have shared the points on eight occasions this season and have not been cut adrift towards the bottom.

Indeed, there are only two points separating the visitors from Metz in 15th, meaning that a couple of positive results could easily move them out of the relegation zone.

Christophe Pelissier's side have the worst away record in Ligue 1 this season, though, drawing four and losing six of their 10 matches, scoring just seven goals in the process.

Lille Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D

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

Lorient Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D

Lorient form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D

Team News

Lille will be missing Timothy Weah and Leo Jardim through injury, while Benjamin Andre will be suspended due to his red card against Marseille on Sunday night.

Head coach Gourvennec is likely to keep faith with the majority of the side that started at the weekend, while Xeka is in line to replace the suspended Andre in a midfield position.

Gabriel Gudmundsson is also an option for change, but the hosts should again line up in a 4-4-2 formation, with Jonathan David and Burak Yilmaz featuring as the front two.

As for Lorient, Dango Ouattara is absent due to his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations, while Samuel Loric, Stephane Diarra, Jeremy Morel and Fabien Lemoine are absent through injury.

The visitors did not pick up any fresh issues against Angers on Sunday, though, so it would not be a surprise to see the same XI take to the field in a 5-3-2 formation.

Armand Lauriente is Lorient's leading goalscorer in the league this season with four, and the 23-year-old should again feature at the tip of the attack for the visitors.

Lille possible starting lineup:
Grbic; Celik, Fonte, Botman, Reinildo; Sanches, Onana, Xeka, Bamba; David, Yilmaz

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Mendes, Jenz, Laporte, Petrot, Le Goff; Le Fee, Monconduit, Abergel; Moffi, Lauriente

We say: Lille 2-0 Lorient

Lille's recent form has been impressive, and the champions have only lost one league game at home this season. Lorient do not travel well, meanwhile, so we are expecting Lille to collect all three points on Tuesday evening in relatively routine fashion.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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 Win:data

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