Ligue 1: St Etienne Vs Lens – Match preview

Ligue 1: St Etienne Vs Lens – Match preview

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13 Jan 2022
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St Etienne vs Lens

While Lens are not deprived of firepower to the same degree as their hosts, Les Sang et Or’s Ligue 1 away form since October is simply horrendous.

St Etienne

Saint-Etienne are guaranteed to end this weekend bottom of Ligue 1, after a five-game losing run in top-flight action which saw them score only once. The absence of AFCON participants Wabhi Khazri and Denis Bouanga – who account for a majority (ten) of St Etienne’s 17 league goals this term – only exacerbates the club’s current woes in the final third. As a consequence of that recent death spiral, ‘Les Verts’ have now joined only seven other teams to have collected less than 13 points at the halfway mark of a fully-completed Ligue 1 season over the past decade. Six of those sides went down, with three also finishing bottom.

Lens

In contrast, Lens still have a top-four finish in their sights, after vanquishing fellow high-flyers Rennes 1-0 in their first league assignment of 2022. Comparisons to their most recent top-four finish in Ligue 1 (2005/06) provide a focal point, and a win here will put them on the same tally they had after 21 rounds in that illustrious campaign. While Lens are not deprived of firepower to the same degree as their hosts, Les Sang et Or’s Ligue 1 away form since October is simply horrendous. This venue has been bountiful for the visitors in recent trips though, with Lens losing just one of their last four away H2Hs and scoring 3 goals in each of the unbeaten matches.

 

Given St Etienne’s key absences in attack, Arnaud Nordin will be looking to step up and add to his single league goal after netting in the cup against Jura Sud last time out. Lens’ latest match-winning goal came via Wesley Said, with his strike against Rennes making it three decisive goals across his five prior strikes this term. Each of the last ten competitive H2Hs saw at least one goal beyond the 75th minute.

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