FRANCE: Ligue 1

Date: 22-09-21

Time: 18:00 PM

Venue: Stade Pierre-Mauroy (Villeneuve d’Ascq)

A 1-0 loss to fierce rivals Lens in the ‘Derby du Nord’ at the weekend saw Lille slump to 15th spot in Ligue 1 (L1) as they continue to stutter in their title defence. Returning just one win from their opening six L1 matches this campaign (D2, L3), the ‘Hounds’ problems have emanated from the back as they’re yet to keep a L1 clean sheet this season, conceding 1.7 goals on average per match.

A summer which saw them lose several key players plus title-winning manager Christophe Galtier to Nice is likely to continue to thwart their pursuit to reclaim their L1 crown, especially after a lack of quality replacements were brought to the club. Their recent five-game H2H record against visiting Reims should at least inspire a little more confidence here though (W2, D2, L1).

Reims continued their trend of being L1’s draw specialists last time out (0-0) as they struggled to break down Lorient at home. That was already their fourth stalemate this season as the visitors remain void of regular form in front of goal, especially after the departure of star forward Boulaye Dia to Villarreal during the summer transfer window.

A huge 2-0 victory against Rennes in their last L1 away match will provide a much-needed morale boost ahead of this clash at least. That win ended a streak of 12 L1 matches without taking three points whilst it further witnessed the away side record their second clean sheet from three L1 trips this campaign.

Players to watch: Despite Lille’s early struggles this season striker Burak Yilmaz continues to impress, scoring three times in six L1 appearances. Similarly, Ilan Kebbal has proven Reims’ bright spark so far this campaign, scoring once and assisting twice in six L1 matches.

Recent Stats:

  • Lille’s form in last 5 matches: LDLWD.
  • Reims’s form in last 5 matches: DWLDD

PREDICTION: Home and Over 1.5

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