FRANCE: Ligue 1
Date: Friday, 16 April 2021
Kick-off at 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Stade Pierre-Mauroy (Villeneuve d’Ascq)
Two straight wins as part of a run of just one loss from their last 14 Ligue 1 (L1) outings (W10, D3, L1) finds Lille sitting pretty atop Ligue 1 (L1), provoking dreams of a first league title since 2011! A strong defence has been integral to that performance, as Lille have conceded a league-low 19 goals after 32 L1 rounds so far – only PSG have done better at this stage in the 21st century!
The hosts have struggled at home recently, however, claiming just one win from their previous four top-flight matches here (W1, D2, L1), although the fact that they have not conceded after the break across their last nine is encouraging. Unsurprisingly in that regard, ‘Les Dogues’ have lost just one second period at home in L1 so far (2H: W8, D7, L1).
Montpellier saw their unbeaten run stretched to an impressive ten top-flight matches (W4, D6) last time out, but this is a ‘must win’ clash so they are not left behind in the race for European spots. Tantalizingly, a league-high 75% of their L1 games have witnessed goals at both ends, for an exciting average of 3.28 total goals per game – well above the league average of 2.71.
The visitors are enduring a run of three consecutive away draws in L1 and curiously, the last time they did that they held Lille to a goalless draw in the next road trip. Poor first halves appear to be a theme for ‘Le MHSC’ when playing away, with Montpellier failing to score before HT in 73.33% of their L1 road trips this season – the third worst such return in the league.
Players to watch: Lille’s Jonathan Ikoné has scored one goal from the spot in each of the previous two top-flight H2Hs. As for the visitors, Montpellier’s Stephy Mavididi has scored the game’s opener in seven of the eight L1 matches to see him get on the score sheet.
- Lille’s form in last 5 matches: WWLLD.
- Montpellier’s form in last 5 matches: DWDWD.
PREDICTION: Home Win