Prediction: Strasbourg vs. Lens – Ligue 1 – September 29, 2023

Strasbourg and Lens lock horns in a Friday evening Ligue 1 encounter at the Stade de la Meinau. While Strasbourg will be eyeing their fourth victory in seven outings, Lens, having finally registered their first win, will be keen to build on that momentum. Scheduled to kick-off at 8 pm UK time on September 29, 2023, this match pits Patrick Vieira’s ascending Alsace outfit against Franck Haise’s Blood and Gold, who are desperately trying to steer clear of the relegation quagmire.

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Analysis: Patrick Vieira’s Strasbourg have been nothing short of commendable this season, amassing 10 points from six matches and situating themselves just three points behind league leaders Brest. Their recent victory against Metz, though only a 1-0 margin, showcases their capability to grind out results. Yet, an intriguing aspect is their goal tally; with just seven goals, they rank among the lowest scorers, hinting at their defensive solidity and perhaps their need to be more potent upfront.

Lens, on the other hand, have had a turbulent start. Last season’s runners-up, their victory against Toulouse marked a much-needed morale booster for a side that has just four points in six games. Worryingly, they have conceded a whopping 12 goals already, a stark contrast to their impressive defensive record last season. This highlights significant defensive vulnerabilities that Strasbourg could look to exploit.

Strasbourg’s attacking trio, featuring Angelo Gabriel, Dilane Bakwa, and new signing Emanuel Emegha, will be a focal point. The potential absence of Ibrahima Sissoko might be felt in the midfield, but the team’s recent performances suggest they can cope.

Lens, despite their struggles, shouldn’t be written off. Their comeback against Toulouse signals their resilience and characters like Wesley Saïd, now off the mark for the season, could prove pivotal. However, with injuries to key players like Jimmy Cabot and Wuilker Farinez, they have their task cut out.

Historically, Strasbourg boasts a superior record with 42 wins to Lens’s 33, and their home record this season is impeccable, with two goals scored in each of their home games. Lens, conversely, has suffered on their travels, conceding three goals in each of their away fixtures.

Prediction: predicts: Strasbourg 2-1 Lens. Given Strasbourg’s home form, coupled with Lens’s defensive frailties on the road, the hosts seem poised to edge this contest. However, considering the unpredictable nature of football, and Lens’s determination to ascend the table, an upset isn’t entirely off the cards.

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