RC Lens Parisiens are experiencing a little rough patch lately. They have failed to win two of their last three matches, including a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City and a goalless draw with OGC Nice in the previous league game. The disappointing results have stagnated PSG’s progress, even potentially allowing Marseille the chance to close the gap at the top to just nine, should they manage to win their extra game in hand.
One of the major issues for PSG this season has been their performance against strong and sturdy outfits. They lost to Manchester City last week, and in Ligue 1, they have dropped points against all of the other top four clubs in Rennes, Marseille and Nice. It is not good for Mauricio Pochettino, who has already faced criticism for his side’s lack of convincing performances this term.
PSG’s woes could continue up against a Lens side that is once again punching above their weights this season. After finishing seventh last term, Franck Haise’s men are cruising in fifth place in the current league table, trailing third-placed Rennes only by a couple of points.
Lens have shown the pedigree of performing against big teams in the past, notably securing a 1-0 win over PSG in the same fixture last season. They are hoping for a similar outcome this time out, and here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of their crucial match-up in Ligue 1 this weekend.
Despite their recent struggles, this remains an impressive campaign for a club only promoted to the top tier 18 months ago. Now, they will face one of their biggest challenges yet, though, as the Parisians head into town. PSG may have built up a 12-point lead at the top, but they have rarely made life easy for themselves this season.
In their most recent match – against Nice on Wednesday – nobody scored the opening goal, with both goalkeepers excelling as the match ended in a stalemate.
That is not to say that there were no chances created. Kylian Mbappe probably should have netted at least once, Angel Di Maria spurned a one-on-one and, for the opposition, Kasper Dolberg somehow managed to miss from three yards out, heading against the post with the ball rebounding onto his leg and stopping just next to the goal line.
Perhaps Mauricio Pochettino’s side missed Neymar’s creativity, but if so, they will have to find a solution quickly as the Brazilian is expected to be out for the best part of eight weeks.
Paris Saint-Germain travel to RC Lens on Saturday with the home side within three points of second place in Ligue 1 behind their visitors. The men from the capital remain unconvincing after their 0-0 draw at home to OGC Nice but still hold a 12-point lead over Olympique de Marseille which could be cut to nine.
While they bounced back from a loss to Montpellier with a 4-1 win over Metz and a defeat to Lyon with a 4-0 thrashing of Troyes, Les Sang et Or have now won just two of their last seven games, and have drawn the most recent two.
Both games ended 2-2, with Angers able to recover after Lens turned the game around, and Clermont equalising twice before hanging on with 10 men in Wednesday’s game.
An own goal had given Franck Haise’s side the lead after 12 minutes and Seko Fofana restored their advantage early in the second half after the first equaliser, but Mohamed Bayo’s eighth of the season levelled things up again and Les Lanciers were able to survive the final six minutes after Yadaly Diaby saw red.