Lille made an impressive game last round away at Toulouse (won 2-1). Lille completely dominated the first half, constantly put the opponent in difficulty and entered the locker room with a 2 goals advantage.
In the second part of the game they concentrated mostly on destroying everything Toulouse tried to create. It worked out for Lille, even if they got 2 red cards in the process and finished the game in 9. Both fullbacks, Souare and Beria will be suspended for the game against Valenciennes. In normal circumstances that can be quite a blow but Valenciennes have reduced offensive potential, especially on the flanks.
Getting back to Lille, the offensive department was in a very good mood. Play-maker Martin initiated a couple of dangerous actions in which he engaged both forwards Kalou and Roux. The latter was more efficient than ever and confident each time when touching the ball.
Overall Lille made a great game and now they even hope to catch the 2nd place that will take them straight to Champions League (3rd place only playoffs).
Valenciennes changed the system last round, from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2. But in the attempt to strengthen the midfield coach Jacobs sacrificed the defense. Valenciennes were already kind of shaky in defense and now there will be more spaces than before, spaces that a lucid opponent will surely exploit.
Striker Waris is maybe Valenciennes’ most in-form player. He scored again last round, reaching a total of 9 goals in 12 games. The only problem is he missed a penalty in the dying moments of the game (lost 2-1 vs Lyon) and Valenciennes lost a point that could have been of tremendous help in the fight to avoid relegation. Waris’ confidence will be affected and his performances as well.
Valenciennes will miss central midfielder Da Silva who got a red card last round.
With creativity running high in offensive department Lille should be able to control the game and put a few past relegation material Valenciennes. Lille -1 at 2.14
UPDATE: Captain Mavuba is once again out for Lille. Bad news for Valenciennes as striker Waris is in the squad but is highly doubtful.
Lille: Enyeama, Elana – D.Sidibé, Kjaer, Basa, Rozehnal, Jeanvier, Y.Koné, Soumaoro, Jeanvier – Balmont, I.Gueye, Delaplace, Mar.Martin, S.Meïté – S.Kalou, Rodelin, Roux, Origi, R.Mendes, Ruiz
Valenciennes: Novaes, Penneteau – Angoua, Ciss, Kagelmacher, Masuaku, Mater, Medjani, Néry – M.Dossevi, T.Doumbia, Ducourtioux, Enza-Yamissi, Houri, Melikson – Bahebeck, A.Le Tallec, Pujol, Waris