Lens will hope that their defensive prowess should offset visiting Rennes’ strikeforce then, who head into this matchday as Ligue 1’s joint-second highest scorers on the road with 15 goals after nine away outings.
French Ligue 1 action returns after its winter break with this intriguing match-up between two of the country’s European qualification chasing outfits, as ninth-placed Lens play host to fourth-placed Rennes. As high as second spot after matchday 13 in the French top flight, a six-match winless streak saw the hosts end 2021 in pitiful form, although a crucial victory here would put Lens back to within a point of their opposition. What will cause concern for Lens’ supporters though, is the fact their side have won just one of the previous 15 Ligue 1 H2Hs, which also includes a winless seven-match streak on home soil. The hosts are in good five-game home league form this season though, which should offset some nerves, whilst they’ve conceded just nine times at home in Ligue 1, the joint-third best such defensive record in the competition ahead of the round.
Lens will hope that their defensive prowess should offset visiting Rennes’ strikeforce then, who head into this matchday as Ligue 1’s joint-second highest scorers on the road with 15 goals after nine away outings. Regardless of that attacking potency, the visitors have struggled to convert their record of only being behind once at half-time away from home this campaign into a bonafide winning formula. Their success here could instead be built from the back as they’ve conceded just 18 league goals this term – the competition’s third-best record. In fact, Rennes’ eight Ligue 1 clean sheets ranks only behind Marseille’s nine, with three of those coming across their previous five away matchdays.
Lens’ Arnaud Kalimuendo has six Ligue 1 strikes this season, with his last three all coming before the 31st minute. Rennes are unbeaten in the league this campaign when Gaëtan Laborde finds the net – he also has two goals in three previous H2Hs. Rennes are yet to concede in the opening 15 minutes of a Ligue 1 match this campaign.