Lens are still in with a chance of snatching a top-five finish in Ligue 1 this season, currently sitting seventh and just three points behind fifth-placed Nice with four games remaining.
Nantes visit the Stade Bollaert-Delelis this Saturday, looking to climb two places in the table and three points for the visitors could bring them to within one points of Lens.
side enter this match in decent form, having lost just once in their last seven outings, including a four-game unbeaten run ahead of Saturday’s match.
That form was continued with a 1-1 draw against French champions Paris Saint-Germain last time out, when Corentin Jean equalised late on at the Parc des Princes, despite the visitors playing much of the second half with 10 players.
Lens had to endure a lot of pressure in that match, but they will have the belief that they can be the side to dominate Saturday’s match, especially considering their good form on home soil.
This weekend’s hosts have netted 31 times while conceding just 16 goals on their own patch, and they have averaged nearly five shots on target per game, which only Rennes, PSG and Lyon can better this season.
Nantes coach Antoine Kombouare reacts on March 2, 2022© Reuters
Nantes go into this match in mixed form, having been unable to secure back-to-back victories since February, missing two opportunities to do so since then, but they will have a chance to record consecutive wins this weekend, after a 5-3 triumph against Bordeaux last time out.
A thrilling eight-goal encounter saw Nantes have to come from 2-0 down to level the scoreline just after half time, before Bordeaux regained the lead in the 67th minute, but goals from Moses Simon, Osman Bukari and a second strike for Kalifa Coulibaly secured maximum points for the hosts.
Antoine Kombouare’s side are heading for a mid-table finish in Ligue 1 this season, which does show significant improvement from the previous campaign when they finished 18th but just survived the drop by winning their relegation playoff match on the away goals rule against Toulouse.
A ninth-placed finish in 2018 was their last best position and so they have the opportunity to better that this year, with a potential three points on Saturday going a long way to achieving a higher spot in the table.
An entertaining five-goal clash occurred in the last meeting between these two teams in December, when Nantes just edged a win thanks to Simon’s 90th-minute winner.
Lens Ligue 1 form: