Lens will be looking to edge closer to the group stages of next year’s Champions League and keep the pressure on Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1 when they visit the Stade du Moustoir to face Lorient on Sunday.
Lorient will be a tough test for the visitors, with Les Merlus hoping to climb up the table and get as close to European football as possible in the remaining three Ligue 1 games. After finishing one place above the relegation zone in 16th place last season, Regis Le Bris’ side have had an impressive 2022/23 campaign which started with eight wins in their first ten league games. Lorient couldn’t maintain the early form that saw them occupy a European spot, but they have still managed to keep themselves in the top half, with eight points currently separating them from the top five.
Lens have been one of the stories of the season, as the northern France outfit have been able to build on from the impressive seventh-place finish last season, preserve the strong start they had, and are currently hot on the tail of table-topping PSG. Franck Haise’s men are two points ahead of third place Marseille, so a spot in next season’s Champions League group stages is in their hands heading into the final two games, with third place in Ligue 1 having to go through the qualifying play-offs next summer. The gap to the Parisians is six points with three games left, so there is a slight glimmer of hope that Lens could pounce on what would have to be a huge PSG slip-up in order to get their hands on a historic Ligue 1 crown.
Le Bris’ side have been in good form recently, unbeaten in their last three games. Lorient have won two of those, starting with the shock 3-1 win away to PSG three weeks ago. Les Merlus followed that up with a 2-1 win over Brest before a 1-1 draw away to Montpellier last time out. Romain Faivre’s second-half strike looked to be handing Lorient their third successive win, but a 94th-minute equalizer from Faitout Maouassa shared the spoils at the Stade de la Mosson.
The away side head to eastern France themselves in fine form, with eight wins from their last nine games seeing them charge ahead of Marseille in the race for the top two. Lens were on a four-game winning run before losing away to PSG in April but have gone on to win four consecutive games since, including hammering fourth-place Monaco 3-0 and then getting the 2-1 win over Marseille at the start of the month. Last time out, Lens came back from being a man down and a goal down to pick up a 2-1 win over Will Still’s Reims.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!