3 October 2020
The two sides that have had identical returns from their opening five Ligue 1 fixtures (W3, D1, L1) go head-to-head at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis as Lens meet Saint-Etienne.
The hosts have turned into a force to be reckoned with since succumbing to a 2-1 away loss to Nice on Matchday 1, racking up a four-game unbeaten Ligue 1 run (W3, D1). Moreover, Lens’ competitive home record this calendar year (W4, D2, L1) indicates how tough Franck Haise’s men are to beat. In turn, Lens’ league matches this season have been notably tight, as all five have ended separating the sides by under 1.5 goals, with the winning goal in three of their four results (wins/loss) continually arriving in the second half of play. Although this will be their first top-flight home H2H since 2014, ‘Sang et Or’ suffered just one defeat in eight such contests in the 21st century (W5, D2, L1).
Meanwhile, St Etienne’s high-flying Ligue 1 start (W3) is now a distant memory, as they go into this encounter on the back of two consecutive league games without a win (D1, L1). Interestingly, a 3-0 home loss to Rennes last time out means that all four of the visitors’ top-flight results this term have seen the winner on the day keep a clean sheet, with each St Etienne’s victory yielding the identical 2-0 scoreline. However, far more comfortable at home, ‘Les Verts’ have picked up just a single win from six Ligue 1 trips this calendar year (W1, D1, L4), conceding over 1.5 goals on four of those occasions. Also, their habit of falling behind without bouncing back saw Claude Puel’s men suffer eight defeats from nine Ligue 1 away matches in which they conceded the opener back in 2019/20 (W1).
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