Fussball Server previews Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash between Reims and Lille, including team news and predicted lineups.
Two sides looking to secure their first victory of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season will lock horns on Sunday as Reims play host to fellow Europa League contenders Lille at the Stade Auguste-Delaune.
Reims kicked off their campaign with a 2-2 draw at Monaco, while Lille also shared the spoils in their first outing as they played out a 1-1 stalemate with Rennes.
Having stormed into a two-goal lead against Monaco before the half-hour mark, Reims would have undoubtedly been frustrated to only walk away with one point to show for their efforts rather than three.
Boulaye Dia broke the deadlock within five minutes for the visitors before El Bilal Toure‘s delightful curler doubled their lead, but Monaco had their youthful centre-back partnership to thank in the second half as Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile rescued a point for the hosts.
An opening-day draw with Monaco is not a bad result whatsoever for David Guion‘s men, but a clash with high-flying Lille before the international break is hardly any more welcoming for Reims, who also have Europa League aspirations to juggle with their domestic campaign.
Nevertheless, Guion’s men are welcoming Lille to a ground where they have only suffered one league defeat from their last ten, and Reims only lost twice at home all season during the curtailed 2019-20 campaign.
Like their opponents, Lille also kicked off their 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign with a draw, but their clash with fellow European contenders Rennes was marred by two red cards early on.
Lille defender Reinildo was the victim of a horrific high boot by Rennes man Sacha Boey, but Reinildo soon became the villian as he was given his marching orders for hauling down Raphinha as the two clubs played out the rest of the fixture with 10 men.
The hosts looked set to record an opening-day victory following Jonathan Bamba‘s 40th-minute goal, but Rennes had their captain Damien Da Silva to thank as the visitors pegged it back in the second half.
Recent history suggests that there will be a winner and loser in this showdown – Lille have not drawn on their travels since September and Christophe Galtier witnessed his side triumph in their final three away games of the 2019-20 campaign.
The two clubs only met once last season owing to the abandonment of the campaign, and it was Reims who took the spoils in a 2-0 victory over their opponents back in September.
Reims Ligue 1 form: D
Lille Ligue 1 form: D
Reims striker Anastasios Donis is unlikely to feature with an ankle problem, but Dia and Toure were never likely to be displaced up top following their goals against Monaco.
Midfielder Moussa Doumbia continues to recover from a shoulder operation and will most likely be forced to miss this one out as well.
Guion is not expected to make many changes to the side that claimed a point against Monaco, but former Lazio man Valon Berisha will be hoping for his first start in Reims colours after coming off the bench last weekend.
As far as Lille are concerned, Galtier will have to do without Reinildo following his sending off against Rennes, meaning Domagoj Bradaric should start on the left-hand side of defence.
Jonathan David spearheaded the Lille attack against Rennes, but should the visitors opt for a two-man strikeforce this weekend, Burak Yilmaz could partner his fellow new arrival up top.
Highly-rated midfielder Boubakary Soumare will also be hopeful of earning a recall to the starting lineup.
Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Foket, Abdelhamid, Faes, Konan; Chavalerin, Cassama, Berisha; Dia, Toure, Cafaro
Lille possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Celik, Fonte, Botman, Bradaric; Ikone, Andre, Sanches, Bamba; David, Yilmaz
We say: Reims 2-2 Lille
Sunday’s clash has all the makings of a tightly-fought affair between two sides who will have one eye on their international ventures for the upcoming Europa League campaign. Both Reims and Lille will be desperate to get an early three points on the board as they seek another strong domestic finish, but we cannot pick a winner for this one and expect the two clubs to walk away with a point apiece.
Top betting tip
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