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Lens vs PSG preview, stats, team news, line-ups and prediction

Last season’s Ligue 1 top two lock horns as Paris Saint-Germain travel to The Stade Bollaert-Delelis to face Lens on matchday 18.

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Last season’s Ligue 1 top two lock horns as Paris Saint-Germain travel to The Stade Bollaert-Delelis to face Lens on matchday 18.

Lens currently sit seventh in the Ligue 1 table with 26 points from 17 matches, trailing Brest by five points in fourth place and still in contention for UEFA Champions League qualification.

In the 2022-23 season, Lens finished just one point behind Ligue 1 champions PSG. However, in the current season, they find themselves 14 points adrift of the leaders at the half way stage. Lens have been in good form recently, losing only one of their last 12 Ligue 1 matches.

As they prepare to face PSG, who aim to extend their unbeaten streak to 13 games, Lens enter the match on the back of a Coupe de France defeat to AS Monaco. This followed a 2-0 loss to Nice in Ligue 1 but was preceded by a 2-0 victory over Stade de Reims.

In their Coupe de France round of 64 clash against AS Monaco last Sunday, Lens conceded less than a minute into the match, with Maghnes Akliouche doubling Monaco’s lead midway through the first half after Wissam Ben Yedder gave Monaco the lead in the first minute.

However, Lens fought back as Faitout Maouassa scored with a thunderous strike just before halftime, and Florian Sotoca equalized in the 62nd minute. Despite the comeback, Lens lost 6-5 in penalties.

Despite the penalty shootout loss, Lens remain unbeaten through 90 minutes in their last 10 home matches across all competitions.

In PSG’s latest Ligue 1 encounter, Kylian Mbappe scored twice, guiding Les Parisiens to a 3-1 victory over Metz at the Parc des Princes. This win allowed PSG to close out the year on a positive note, maintaining their five-point lead at the top of the league table and giving those with Paris Saint-Germain tickets optimism they could retain their title this season.

The first half was uneventful, ending goalless with limited quality chances for either side. PSG narrowly avoided an own goal when a header by defender Danilo Pereira hit the post.

The second half saw Vitinha putting the hosts in front with his first touch, followed by Mbappe doubling the lead with a stunning shot to cap his 25th birthday. Although Metz captain Matthieu Udol pulled one back with a towering header, Mbappe capitalized on a defensive mistake to make it 3-1.

With 40 points from 17 games, PSG leads the standings, holding a five-point advantage over second-placed Nice and a seven-point cushion over AS Monaco in third place.

PSG further dominated the Coupe de France round of 64, securing a resounding 9-0 victory over sixth-tier club US Revel last Sunday. Defender Lucas Beraldo made his debut, and Mbappe shone with a hat trick. Marco Asensio contributed a goal and two assists, while Randal Kolo Muani found the net twice.

Last Wednesday, PSG clinched their first silverware of the season by defeating Toulouse 2-0 in the French Super Cup. Lee Kang-in and Mbappe were on target in this triumph. Mbappe, a consistent leader in Ligue 1 top scorers, has been particularly prolific this season, scoring 18 goals—ten more than any other player in the league.

Entering the Ligue 1 match against Lens on Sunday, PSG is in excellent form, coming off a 9-0 victory over Revel in Coupe de France, a 3-1 win against Metz in Ligue 1, and a 1-1 draw with Lille on the road in the league.

Lens v PSG match details 

Location: Lens, France

Stadium: Stade Bollaert-Delelis

Date: Sunday 14th January, 2024

Kick-off time: 20:45 GMT

Referee: Jérôme Brisard

Match stats and head-to-head 

• Kylian Mbappe has been prolific, scoring 18 goals and providing 2 assists in 16 Ligue 1 matches for Paris Saint-Germain this season.

• Wesley Said has contributed 4 goals in 11 Ligue 1 matches for Lens this season.

• Paris Saint-Germain have suffered only 1 defeat in Ligue 1 throughout the season.

• Lens have secured victories in 3 of their last 5 Ligue 1 games.

• Lens have conceded 17 goals in 17 Ligue 1 matches.

• PSG’s last away win over Lens date back to 2014, but they approach this match with confidence.

• In the last five meetings, PSG have won twice, Lens once, and two matches concluded in draws.

• Lens averages 1.8 goals per game in Ligue 1, but they’ve averaged 1.2 goals through 17 matches this season.

• The last encounter between Lens and PSG at Parc des Princes saw PSG winning 3-1.

• In the previous 7 matches between these two sides, two draws occurred, Lens secured two victories, and PSG registered three wins.

• No Lens player have scored five or more league goals this season, with Wesley Said leading the team with four.

Team News 

Paris Saint-Germain face some challenges with injuries and international commitments. Starting center back Milan Skriniar is sidelined, along with Nuno Mendes, Fabian Ruiz, and backup keeper Arnau Tenas. Despite these absences, PSG remain unbeaten on the road in Ligue 1 with five wins three draws, and zero losses. They are expected to continue their unbeaten away feat when they face Lens on Sunday.

The good run of form for Kang-in Lee has been halted due to his commitments with South Korea at the AFC Asian Cup. Additionally, key right-back Achraf Hakimi will miss several matches while on international duty with Morocco. Despite these setbacks, Les Parisiens are confident in their squad depth and capabilities.

Luis Enrique is expected to deploy a 3-4-2-1 formation in their upcoming match. The probable lineup includes Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal, with Milan Skriniar, Danilo Pereira, and Marquinhos forming the defensive trio. The midfield quartet comprises Warren Zaire-Emery, Vitinha, Manuel Ugarte, and Lee Kang-in. Kylian Mbappe is set to lead the attacking line, supported by Bradley Barcola and Randal Kolo Muani in the attacking midfield positions.

Lens face some challenges with several players away on international duty, including Salis Abdul Samed, Morgan Guilavogui, Abdugodir Xusanov, and Nampalys Mendy. Additionally, Jonathan Gradit and Deiver Machado are sidelined due to injuries.

Despite these absences, Lens boast a four-game home winning streak in Ligue 1 and aim to secure a statement victory when they host Ligue 1 leaders at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.

All eyes will be on Sotoca, a key player for Lens, who has contributed three goals and five assists in the current season. His performance could be instrumental in Lens’ pursuit of success in the match.

Franck Haise is anticipated to adopt a 3-4-2-1 formation for the upcoming match. The expected lineup includes Brice Samba as the goalkeeper, with Abdukodir Khusanov, Facundo Medina, and Massadio Haidara forming the defensive trio.

The four midfielders are likely to be Ruben Aguilar, Neil El Aynaoui, Salis Abdul Samed, and Przemyslaw Frankowski. In the attacking midfield positions, Florian Sotoca and David Costa are expected to feature, while Wesley Said will lead the line as the striker for Lens.

Predicted line-ups

Lens predicted starting XI: Samba, Danso, Medina, Haidara, Aguilar, El Aynaoui, Fulgini, Frankowski, Sotoca, Costa, Wahi.

PSG predicted starting XI: Donnarumma; Mukiele, Marquinhos, Beraldo, Hernandez, Vítinha, Ugarte, Zaïre-Emery, Dembélé, Kolo Muani, Mbappe.

Predicted score

Paris Saint-Germain’s last away victory against Lens date back to 2014, but they approach this match with confidence. Lens, on the other hand, aim to maintain their impressive 10-game unbeaten run at home. Despite being considered underdogs, Lens are in good form and showed vulnerability but also created numerous chances in their recent match against Monaco.

While Lens may pose a challenge, Luis Enrique possesses a superior team and is expected to secure all three points in this Ligue 1 encounter.

The match promises to be competitive, with both teams seeking a positive outcome.

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