Genoa vs Salernitana News, Stats and Prediction

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After suffering a humiliating home defeat last weekend, the reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille return to action on Saturday when they travel to Stade de la Mosson to face Montpellier HSC.

La Paillade fell apart in the latter stages of their previous encounter, dropping a 3-1 decision to last-place Saint-Etienne, while Les Dogues conceded five times in a domestic encounter for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign, losing to Paris Saint-Germain 5-1.

Montpellier began the way that Olivier Dall’Oglio had hoped they would at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, taking the crowd out of the game with a 13th-minute strike, but just like in their other away league fixtures this year, this group crumbled in the final minutes as the pressure on them continued to mount.

Throughout their match, in the Massif Central, this team struggled to maintain the ball for long stretches while allowing Les Verts many quality scoring opportunities, which Saint-Etienne were able to capitalize on eventually with three goals in the final eight minutes plus stoppage time.

Dall’Oglio noted afterwards that his side were not strong technically throughout that encounter, adding that they lacked aggression when taking the lead, just like they did back in mid-January after carrying a 1-0 advantage deep into the second half versus Strasbourg, before conceding three goals in nine minutes to fall 3-1.

As concerning as some of their collapses have been recently, playing at home might be what is needed to steer this team back on course, having captured seven league fixtures in Occitania in this campaign, the third-most among sides in Ligue 1 this season, behind only Rennes (eight) and PSG (10).

This side have proven to be quite difficult to contain on their home ground, scoring seven goals in their last three league encounters and tallying multiple times in seven different matches at La Mosson.

They have dropped three of their last four games domestically, which is as many defeats as in their previous 11 fixtures, but despite that, La Paillade trail Stade Rennais by a mere three points for a place in the Europa Conference League next season.

Lille’s Sven Botman celebrates scoring their first goal on February 6, 2022© Reuters

The magical run to the title for Lille in 2020-21 seems like a long time ago, as their current campaign hit rock bottom last week at home to Les Parisiens.

Les Dogues beat the odds last season with a solid defensive foundation, along with a practical defensive shape that rarely provided openings to the opposition, conceding only 23 goals, the fewest in a 38-match top flight campaign in France since 2015-16 when PSG only allowed 19 goals.

Not only has their defensive posture under Jocelyn Gourvennec been poor compared to the one we saw with his predecessor Christophe Galtier, but they have also struggled to come away with points on a regular basis, suffering seven defeats after 23 matches, four more than they incurred in their championship season.

This team have not lost three successive league fixtures since 2019-20 when they dropped that many games in between December and January during that campaign.

When you play a team that focuses on defence first before moving into transition, it is safe to say that scoring the opener is imperative, and that is something which Les Dogues have failed to do much of lately, drawing first blood in only two of their last seven league games.

With 15 domestic fixtures still to be played and trailing PSG by 24 points, regaining their title would be a long shot, but returning to European competition is still possible as they are five points back of Rennes for fifth, while two victories and some help could put them even with Strasbourg for a spot in the Europa League.

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