Lille’s good run ended abruptly last round when they lost away at St Etienne 2-0. The game was very balanced until Lille got a red card and couldn’t handle the numerical inferiority.
Leaving aside that isolated wrong step Lille look very good lately with clear improvements in all areas. Play-maker Lopes is very active recently and constantly pushes the game forward. Unfortunately he will be suspended for this encounter (same as midfielder Balmont).
In Lopes’ absence young forward Origi gets more involved in the game and makes the best of his skills. This is exactly what happened 2 rounds ago against Rennes when Origi netted a hat-trick and was by far the best player on the field.
Hosts will welcome back fullback Sidibe after suspension but keeper Enyama is doubtful.
Although once in a while Reims tried to corner the opponent they were clearly outplayed last round by Monaco (lost 3-1). Attacking the flanks is Reims’ main strategy as they try to exploit at maximum the qualities of wingers Diego and Moukabndjo. Because of the two mentioned players the attacking phase is at a decent level.
Unfortunately things change when it comes to the defensive phase. There are wide spaces between players and it doesn’t take huge levels of inventivity to outplay them.
There will be even more defensive problems this round since central defender Conte will miss through suspension (same as striker Charbonnier). On the other hand Reims will welcome back fullback Signorino and midfielder Bourillon.
Lille aren’t exactly bursting with creativity but Reims’ loose defense will ease hosts’ job and taking all points should be a formality in the end. Lille -1 at 2.28
UPDATE: Hosts welcome back midfielder Mavuba after injury
Lille: Enyeama, Elana – Corchia, D.Sidibé, Kjaer, Basa, Rozehnal, Pavard – Mavuba, I.Gueye, Delaplace, S.Meïté, Ad.Traoré, Boufal – Roux, Origi, R.Mendes, Koubemba
Reims: Placide, Agassa – Mandi, C.Glombard, Signorino, Mo.Fofana, Weber, Tacalfred – Oniangué, Bourillon, Devaux, Diego, Peuget, Mfulu – De Préville, Fortes, Ngog, Moukandjo