Lens vs Toulouse – There has been no hangover from last season’s impressive seventh-place Ligue 1 finish for Lens, who have instead kicked on further, highlighted by their great 1-0 win away to Marseille last weekend which propelled them into second place ahead of this round. Coach Franck Haise praised his players “defensive performance” on Sunday, and for good reason: only once across their most recent 22 top-flight campaigns have they conceded so few goals (eight) after 12 rounds.
The Sang et Or have made the Stade Bollaert-Delelis a fortress, boasting a 100% record this campaign (W6), a feat only one other club in Europe’s top five leagues (Manchester City) can match. After the most recent three produced a 1-0 scoreline, a fourth straight home clean sheet would be their longest in Ligue 1 since 2007. Opening the round should also be no issue: their previous eight top-flight home wins held on a Friday were also accompanied by a clean sheet, so history suggests that this could be the perfect day to achieve that feat for Lens.
Lens vs Toulouse – Betting Analysis
Mid-table Toulouse were on the cusp of securing two consecutive Ligue 1 wins for the first time since early 2018/19 on Sunday, but despite holding a 2-0 lead until the 65th minute, they were forced to settle for a 2-2 home draw described as “frustrating” by manager Philippe Montanier. He will therefore know this is one area for improvement, especially as Toulouse have dropped points in three of the six league matches in which they scored first this season (W3, D2, L1).
The Haute-Garonne-based side’s biggest concern lies on the road, with their 3-0 win at Troyes in their opening away game of 2022/23 being the only success across Toulouse’s previous 28 road trips in Ligue 1 (D7, L20). The Violets will be pinning their hopes on the know-how of Montanier as he is unbeaten against his former employers Lens as a coach (W4, D4), whilst the fact they’ve won two of their previous three visits here (L1) is another good omen.
Players to watch: Red-hot Florian Sotoca has contributed to seven of Lens’ 13 home goals this Ligue 1 campaign (G6, A1), while Stijn Spierings has led Toulouse to victory in all but one (D1) of his 14 goal-scoring competitive games since he joined the club in 2020/21, including two this season.