Lens seemed powerless last round away at Rennes (lost 2-0). Especially in the first half Rennes was the only team on the field.
Only after the first goal was scored Lens had some shy offensive attempts. But overall they had difficulties even when trying to move the game in opponents’ half.
Lens lose the ball too easily and this creates huge problems seeing that one of the major weaknesses is man-marking. They try to compensate by running a lot and agglomerating in-front of the penalty box. But unfortunately for them this is not exactly a coherent strategy and now we can understand why Lens won only 2 points from the last 5 games.
Upfront Lens are only capable of building actions down the flanks. In-fact they don’t even bother moving the ball in the center and only concentrate on attacking on wings. But the thing is fullbacks don’t participate in the offensive phase, they don’t leave their positions, so only two players are responsible for creating chances at Lens (the 2 wingers).
Central defender Kantari is still suspended, meaning that hesitant Gbamin will once again play. Midfielder Cyprien is also suspended.
Many of PSG’s players were involved in international games during this break and some of them got out injured. The defensive department will suffer the most with central defender Luiz and defensive midfielder Motta suffering injuries. Fullback Aurier was also the victim of a small knock but it seems he will recover in time.
Already on that injury list are central defenders Marquinhos and Silva and striker Ibrahimovic who is still doubtful.
With all those defensive absences and PSG’s mediocre performances away from home, betting on Lens with handicap would seem the most logical thing to do. But they are simply not worthy of any confidence regardless the packed stadium (50.000 tickets sold with a week before the game) and the extra motivation that comes naturally when playing against PSG.
UPDATE: Thiago Motta recovered from injury and is fit for actions. Otherwise there are no surprises in the squads.
Lens: Belon, Ru.Riou – Ab.Ba, Baal, Cavaré, Fradj, Gbamin, Landre – Bourigeaud, Le Moigne, El Jadeyaoui, Valdivia, Nomenjanahary – Chavarria, Ad.Coulibaly, Guillaume, D.Ndiaye, Touzghar
PSG: Douchez, Sirigu – Camara, Aurier, Maxwell, Van der Wiel, Kimpembe – Chantôme, Pastore, Lucas, Matuidi, Cabaye, Thiago Motta, Verratti – Bahebeck, Cavani, Augustin