Marseille’s Struggle for Victory in Ligue 1

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Marseille’s recent performance in Ligue 1 has been frustrating, with a 2-2 draw against Nice extending their winless run to five matches (D2, L3). As a result, they find themselves five points adrift of the European places with only four rounds of the league campaign remaining.

However, there is still hope for Marseille to secure a spot in continental football next season. If they manage to win this year’s UEFA Europa League, they could earn a place in European competition. But before their tantalizing two-legged semi-final against Atalanta in the Europa League, Marseille must face Lens, who currently sit in sixth place in the league.

Marseille’s Home Advantage

Despite their recent struggles, Marseille can take solace in their strong home record. Heading into the weekend, only Paris Saint-Germain and Lille have accumulated more home wins in Ligue 1 this season than Marseille. Additionally, only PSG has managed to defeat Marseille at the Stade Vélodrome over 90 minutes in any competition this campaign.

Although Marseille has lost their last three meetings against Lens, their impressive home form suggests they have a good chance of securing a victory in this upcoming match.

Lens’ European Push

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Lens, on the other hand, have had their own challenges in their pursuit of European qualification. Their recent 1-0 victory over bottom-side Clermont ended a run of just one point from a possible 12, which had threatened to derail their European ambitions.

However, Lens will need to improve on their recent form if they want to stay comfortably clear of the top six chasers behind them. With only one victory from their last five league games (D1, L3), Lens has squandered leads against strugglers Metz and Le Havre. Their inability to score goals consistently has also been a concern, with only one goal scored in each of their last six matches.

Despite their offensive struggles, Lens can take some comfort in their defensive record. Heading into this round of Ligue 1 fixtures, only PSG and Nice have conceded fewer away goals in the 2023/24 season than Lens, who have only conceded 16 goals on the road.

Players to Watch

One player to keep an eye on in this match is Jonathan Clauss, who marked his return from injury with Marseille’s opener against Nice. However, Clauss has lost all four head-to-head meetings against Lens, his former club. On the other side, Florian Sotoca, Clauss’ former teammate, will be aiming to add to his eight goals this season, with half of them coming from the penalty spot.

Hot Stat: Five of Marseille’s last six matches have been level at half-time, indicating that they have been slow starters in recent games.

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