In Focus

Three things to know ahead of Lens v. Nice

The next stop for Les Rouge et Noir: Lens. The team that Christophe Galtier’s men will have to beat in order to pick up the pace as they approach the season’s final stretch: Lens. Ahead of the trip to face Les Sang et Or, here are some facts and figures to set the scene. 


Franck Haise’s side have had the most shots from outside the area in Ligue 1 this season (162), proving that, going forward, RCL don’t necessarily finish their attacks by breaking into the opposition box. Le Gym, meanwhile, are at the opposite end of the spectrum, as they have tried their luck from distance the fewest times in Ligue 1, with 102 attempts. This isn’t to say that they are any less comfortable from long range; in fact, despite the 60-shot gap between the two teams ahead of kick-off on Sunday, Les Aiglons have shown greater efficiency in this respect than the Artois outfit over the course of the first 30 league games, with six goals scored compared to Racing’s five.

LE GYM leave it late

Despite the fact that Le Gym are without a win in their last three games (including two draws and one defeat, which is their longest winless run since the end of November / start of December), they have consolidated a habit from the first half of the season: raising their game as the minutes tick by. So far this campaign, Dante and co. have scored 68% of their goals (or 27/40) in the second half of matches – the highest ratio of any team in the top flight.

Incidentally, not only did Les Rouge et Noir turn the reverse fixture around in the latter stages, but it was also after the half-time interval that they scored their first goal of April, with Andy Delort finding the net against Rennes last weekend, as well as all of their goals in March (Amine Gouiri and Kasper Dolberg against Versailles, Delort against Paris and Mario Lemina against Marseille). You would have to go back to 20th February to find the last Nice goal scored in the first half, which was Justin Kluivert’s finish in the 1-0 win over Angers on Matchday 25.


Justin Kluivert was in fact the game-changer in the reverse fixture, finishing off a move at Jean-Louis Leca’s near post to score the goal that put his side 2-1 up in the 79th minute. The on-loan Roma winger, who has bagged himself five goals and five assists in all competitions for Les Aiglons as we head into the home straight, showed off one of his greatest qualities in that match: his ability to make forward runs. It’s a quality that he has made his trademark, as he has covered an average of 14 metres per dribble in Ligue 1 this season – the highest ratio of any player having completed at least 100 dribbles over five metres or more.

Source : Opta