With 10 games left in Ligue 1, both Lille and Lorient find themselves in the hunt for European places, with Lille placed 6th, a point away from a spot for the Europa Conference League, while Lorient have dropped back in recent months and are placed in 8th, 6 points behind a spot for the Conference League.
After suffering 4 losses in their first 9 games, 2020 Ligue 1 champions Lille have definitely recovered their league position, only suffering 3 losses in the 19 games since and since the World Cup, their only losses have been to PSG and the in-form Nice.
The catalyst for Lille’s rise up the league table has been their defensive improvement. In their first 9 games, they failed to keep a clean sheet and conceded 18 goals and in the 19 games since, they have managed to keep 8 clean sheets and have conceded just 18 goals, the 5th least in the league in that span.
Whilst their defensive improvement has massively helped them climb up the table, Jonathan David in attack has been as equal as an influence on their league position, who is having by far his best season in a Lille shirt, scoring 19 goals in 27 Ligue 1 games, including 7 in his last 6 which has him tied with Kylian Mbappe for the top scorer in the league.
Lorient’s season has been the opposite of Lille, where after 10 games, they sat 2nd in the league, a point behind PSG in 1st and on a 6 game winning streak, but with just 4 wins in 18 games since, European qualification seems like a stretch right now.
Even when Lorient were in top form at the start of the season, their defence was quite leaky, conceding 14 goals in 10 games, but their attack was potent with 21 goals, which has since dried up with just 20 goals in their last 18 games and with little defensive improvement, conceding 23 goals in this run, their league table has been slowly dropping over the course of the season.
Part of the reason for their massive attacking dropoff has been due to them letting go of their top scorers Terem Moffi and Dango Ouattara in January and their best player Enzo Le Fee has announced his attention to leave in the summer, which is a big blow, with the midfielder topping both goal and assist charts for the team whilst also nearing the top of the defensive charts for his team.
Since Lorient’s return to Ligue 1 in 2020, the games with Lille have seen mixed results, with Lille managing 3 wins, scoring 11 goals in those wins, but Lorient have managed 2 wins at home, including earlier this season where they managed to win 2-1 with an 87th minute winner despite being down a man for half-an-hour.
Lille’s home form and Lorient’s away form definitely favour Lille in this fixture, with Lille unbeaten at Stade Pierre Mauroy in their last 11 Ligue 1 games whilst Lorient haven’t won in their last 5 away games in Ligue 1.