This Saturday marks the 100th Ligue 1 clash between Lens and Strasbourg at Stade Bollaert-Delelis, making it the 41st game in the competition to hit this milestone.
Last week, Lens climbed to sixth with a 1-0 win over Nantes, while Strasbourg fell 2-1 to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
Lens’s recent strong defense has them close to securing a spot in European competitions next season.
They are just two points behind Monaco for a Europa League spot, winning two consecutive away league games for the first time since last year.
However, 2024 hasn’t been kind to them at home, losing to Monaco in the Coupe de France and to PSG in the league.
Lens has failed to score in only two home games but hasn’t lost back-to-back home league games since January 2021.
Since October, they’ve kept nine clean sheets, the most in Europe’s top-five leagues during this period.
A win against Strasbourg, whom they beat 1-0 in September, would mark their fourth season sweep against them, a first since the 2003-04 season.
Strasbourg’s eight-game unbeaten streak ended with a loss to PSG last weekend, their first league defeat since early December.
On the road, they’ve been unbeaten in six, conceding one goal or fewer each time.
However, they’ve struggled against higher-ranked teams away from home, with their only win against such a team being against Lille in December.
Since November, Strasbourg has scored and conceded in every game, matching PSG’s scoring consistency.
They’ve managed positive results in three of their last four visits to Lens.
Lens Ligue 1 form: D W L L W W
Lens form (all competitions): W L L L W W
Strasbourg Ligue 1 form: W W W D D L
Strasbourg form (all competitions): W D W D L W
With Guinea and Uzbekistan out of their respective tournaments, Morgan Guilavogui and Abdukodir Khusanov are back for Lens, but Jimmy Cabot is out with an ACL injury.
Haise made a single lineup change recently, bringing Przemyslaw Frankowski in for Wesley Said.
David Costa scored his second season goal last time, and Brice Samba secured his 10th clean sheet, ranking third in the league.
Strasbourg misses Lebo Mothiba and Jeremy Sebas due to knee issues, Ismael Doukoure with an ankle problem, and Kevin Gameiro with a strain.
Following Matz Sels’ move, Alaa Bellaarouch stepped in as goalkeeper, one of Vieira’s recent lineup changes.
Dilane Bakwa scored in their last league game, contributing to a 3-1 win in the Coupe de France.
Lens possible starting lineup:
Gradit, Danso, Medina;
Aguilar, Diouf, Thomasson, El Aynaoui;
Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Senaya, Perrin, Sylla, Guilbert;
Bakwa, Deminguet, Sissoko, Angelo;
Prediction: Lens 1-0 Strasbourg
Lens’s rest this week gives them an edge over Strasbourg, who played midweek. With Lens’s tight defense and Strasbourg’s tendency to concede, we predict a close win for Lens.