Sevilla welcome Lens to Spain on Wednesday in a tie which looks set to be tightly contested. Both teams have been struggling domestically so far this season but the hosts go into the fixture as favourites.
Los Nervionenses will come into this tie with confidence after they picked up their first win of the season this weekend. Prior to the 1-0 home win over recently promoted Las Palmas, Jose Luis Mednilibar’s side had lost their opening three La Liga games due to being extremely unstable defensively. However, the return of Sergio Ramos seems to have made Sevilla much more solid at the back and his influence could prove to be vital.
Sevilla have proved that they can perform in Europe and we witnessed it against Manchester City in the UEFA Super Cup, where they were eventually defeated on penalties, after arguably having the best chances of the game. Youssef En-Nesyri is a handful in the box and if he is able to develop a strong relationship with new signing, Dodi Lukebakio, Sevilla will have a frightening attacking duo.
Lens' dramatic rise to the peak of European football has been nothing but sensational, as just three years ago, they were competing in League 2. However this season, their performances have taken a massive hit and they are struggling in the French top flight. Les Sang et Or are rock bottom in 20th, after losing four out of their five opening games, which isn’t exactly the best preparation ahead of the UCL debut. The reason for their downfall is due to the departures of club captain, Seko Fofana, and their star striker, Lois Openda.
This weekend, Lens suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Metz despite absolutely dominating the tie. The hosts registered 31 attempts at target and accumulated nine corners without scoring a goal. They also only faced two shots all game but still conceded which just highlights how Franck Haise’s side are struggling at both ends of the field.
Both sides are massively underperforming this season and it is safe to say that any quality on display throughout this tie will be infrequent. Neither club are confident in front of goal and this game will be decided by fine margins.
The final prediction is Sevilla 1-0 Lens.