Lille return to Ligue 1 action this Wednesday as they take on Clermont at the Stade Gabriel Montpied.
Venue: Stade Gabriel Montpied (Clermont-Ferrand)
Clermont are winless in their last five games (D3, L2).
They have kept just three in 15 league outings this season.
No team in the division’s top half has conceded more than the host’s 23 goals.
Lille are the other side in the top ten, whose defence has been breached 23 times this season.
The visitors have lost three of their last four outings on their travels (W1).
They have kept three clean sheets in their last six league games.
Eight consecutive league games involving Clermont have seen both teams score.
Head to head
Both teams have one win apiece in two head-to-head games.
Latest performances in all competitions
Clermont will look to make a winning return to league football when they host Lille on Wednesday.
The hosts went into the World Cup break on a losing note as they were beaten 2-1 by Lens. The result made it five games without a win for Clermont, who could be in danger of relegation if results don’t improve.
However, head coach Pascal Gastien admits his Clermont side are roughly where he expected them to be after nearly half of the Ligue 1 campaign played.
The Lancers, who finished only four points above the relegation zone last season, are in mid-table ahead of their return from a six-week break for the World Cup, a position the boss says “reflects what we are capable of doing.”
He will now hope that this second half of the season produces good results; otherwise, all their good work could easily be undone as they are just six points ahead of the bottom three.
Possible Clermont starting line-up
Mory Diaw; Maximiliano Caufriez, Mateusz Wieteska, Alidu Seidu; Jérémie Bela, Johan Gastien, Yohann Magnin, Elba Rashani; Saif-Eddine Khaoui, Komnen Andric, Grejohn Kyei.
Injured: Neto Borges, Mehdi Zeffane
Lille will look to pick up where they stopped when they face Clermont.
The visitors beat Angers 1-0 in their last game before the World Cup break to ensure that they remained close to the top four places.
Paulo Fonseca’s side currently sit in seventh position, four points behind fourth-best Marseille after 15 games.
They could have been higher up the table, though, but their undoing this season has been a poor defence that has conceded the joint most goals for teams in the top half of the table (23 goals).
Yet, that has not stopped manager Paulo Fonseca from being linked with the Portugal job. Reports suggest he is being lined up to replace Fernando Santos following a disappointing World Cup campaign.
The boss will, however, hope that speculation doesn’t negatively affect his team’s preparations for this game as they look to build on a solid run of four wins in six games before the international break (D1, L1).
But their recent away form is a concern, as they have lost three of their last four outings on their travels (W1), scoring one or fewer in each of those defeats.
Possible Lille starting line-up
Lucas Chevalier; Bafodé Diakité, Jose Fonte, Alexsandro Ribeiro, Tiago Djaló; Benjamin Andre, Adam Ounas; Timothy Weah, Angel Gomes, Remy Cabella; Jonathan David.
Injured: Leny Yoro, Gabriel Gudmundsson
Clermont 1-3 Lille