Lens: Lille are derby du nord 'favourites' | OneFootball
Lens: Lille are derby du nord 'favourites'
Ligue 1 Uber Eats Official
Lens coach Franck Haise has conceded that LOSC are favourites to win Saturday afternoon's northern derby despite the home side being ahead of the champions in the table.
LENS - LILLE (kick-off at 16:00 GMT on Saturday)
Lens have collected nine points from their opening five matches of the season, while Lille are averaging a point per game and fell 2-1 at Lorient in Round 5 of the 2021-2022 Ligue 1 Uber Eats campaign.
Last season Lille enjoyed two big wins - 4-0 at Stade Pierre Mauroy and 3-0 at Stade Bollaert - and Lens haven't tasted success in the derby since a 4-2 home victory in April 2006. LOSC were also on the right end of a big scoreline the last time the two clubs met at Bollaert with fans present to provide a white-hot atmosphere, running out 4-1 victors in September 2010.
Haise: "Lille remain the favourites"
Haise is aware of the history and the standing of Lens' neighbours: "Lille, with their status as champions, remain the favourites. They are a team that plays in the Champions League. We're going to try to be good challengers. From my point of view, I consider that we need to win all our matches and the players have the same mindset."
Motivation will not be an issue for les sang et or as the fervent backing of the home crowd will underline to them of the importance of the game: "The players know what the derby means to the supporters, even if there aren't local players in the squad. They don't need any reminders and they have the desire to win the match."
Haise can count on the return of several players as Cheick Doucouré is now free from suspension, Massadio Haïdara is back too from a calf problem and Ignatius Ganago's spell in self-isolation following international duty with Cameroon has come to a conclusion.
Gourvennec: "Every detail counts"
Lens, who were 3-2 winners at Bordeaux on Sunday, have had an extra couple of days to prepare for the derby compared to Lille, who played Champions League football on Tuesday, drawing 0-0 at home to Bundesliga club Wolfsburg.
Haise commented: "Of course I watched Lille play in the Champions League. They lived up to their billing as champions of France. It showed us all the work we have to put in before facing them this weekend. They were playing in the Champions League whereas we were watching it on TV."
Lille coach Jocelyn Gourvennec said: "We've got four days to recover ahead of the derby and we will do our recovery well. Every hour counts. Immediately after the match, we were straight into treatment and a meal in order to get the right fuel onboard and to hydrate. Every detail counts. The staff work well alongside the team. Now we need to get into derby mode. Our fans are waiting for this match. They come along twice a season and we need to recover well in order to show our best side on Saturday."
Renato Sanches, Tim Weah and Jonathan Bamba are still on the LOSC injured list, reducing Gourvennec's attacking options. The club's new boss will hope that the clean sheet registered against Wolfsburg is the shape of things to come, given Lille have conceded 11 goals already in the league this season, almost half as many (23) as they did in their title-winning campaign when they boasted the meanest defence in the top division.
Lens: (to follow)
Lille: (to follow)