Lens surprisingly succeeded in taking advantage of Lyon’s absences last round (won 1-0). It was a surprise because in the first two rounds Lens were very circumspect, they weren’t willing to assume any risks and preferred to sit back even when there was a green light for counters.
Most likely coach Kombouare understood Lens will be sure victims in Ligue1 if they lack a minimum level of courage. Judging from this perspective this round should be the first when Lens’ 4-3-3 system will be truly offensive.
Lens’ wingers picked up confidence last week after Touzghar delivered the assist and Nomenjanahary scored. The latter was also denied a clear penalty after a nice incursion inside the penalty box.
With in-form wingers Lens will be able to take advantage of Reims’ deficiencies, namely defending the flanks.
Reims slowly faded after drawing 2-2 with PSG in the opening round. It’s almost a paradox as their offensive phase improved a lot after winger Moukandjo entered the scene and now forward De Preville returned from injury.
Forward Charbonnier missed a couple of sitters but the issue is not really upfront but at the back.
In the absence of Weber (injured since last season) fullback Conte started playing in central defense and Bourillon was moved in midfield. This move was not exactly inspired as Conte and Tacalfred make a funny couple in central defense as both of them are after the title “who makes most mistakes”.
On the sides things aren’t looking any better for Reims as we could see in the rounds played so far. For a change… right fullback Mandi made some decent tackles last week and was even called at Algeria’s national team, but so far he was not consistent in performances.
With Lens having increased confidence and Reims eager to get back on the right track this game could take everyone by surprise and be full of action. Many scoring opportunities are foreseen and hopefully at least 3 of them will be converted. Over 2.25 at 2.06
UPDATE: Lens welcome back midfielder El Jadeyaoui after injury. Winger Fortes makes his comeback for guests while defensive minded Bourillon will miss through injury.
Lens: De Pinho, Ru.Riou – Baal, Cavaré, Gbamin, Kantari, Landre – Bourigeaud, Cyprien, Le Moigne, El Jadeyaoui, Nomenjanahary, Valdivia – Chavarria, A.Coulibaly, Guillaume, D.Ndiaye, Touzghar
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Conte, M.Fofana, Mandi, Signorino, Tacalfred – Albaek, Ca, Devaux, Oniangué – Atar, Charbonnier, Courtet, De Préville, Fortes, Moukandjo, Diego