The Ligue 1 runner up of 2018/19 season, Lille, currently experiences the tight schedule this season due to their Champions League fixtures in the midweek. This is something they have to anticipate, especially when French Cup and French League Cup start later. Keeping the squad fit for the whole season would be a challenge for the team with limited sources. Thus, a rotation is necessary. Christopher Galtier could apply such when they are up against Strasbourg this coming Wednesday in their own home base, Stade Pierre-Mauroy. Strasbourg seems to be improving a bit as they just secured their first three points in the domestic competition. Despite lying on number 16th of the standing, they still have the potential to stumble the host.
Lille is recently on number five of the standings with three wins, one draw and two losses. Christopher Galtier’s men lack of creativity and pace on the attacking side due to the departure of their brightest star last season, Nicolas Pepe. Their summer signings have not made their impressive form yet, except the Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen. He has scored five goals and one assist. This 20-year-old forward centre also contributed for the team’s goal in the game against Rennes last weekend.
Strasbourg’s campaign this season under Thierry Laurey, is still on course. They finally managed to have their first win this season last weekend. Matz Sels and Co defeated Nantes 2-1 by goals from Dimitri Lienard and Ludovic Ajorque’s penalty despite being one goal behind in the first half. Before the international break, they also only lost 1-0 versus PSG because of Neymar’s incredible strike at the stoppage time and held Monaco in a 2-2 draw.
Missing players and probable lineups:
Christopher Galtier normally opts for 4-2-3-1 formation relying on Victor Osimhen as the lone striker. He also still counts on Portuguese experienced defender, Jose Fonte as the commander at the back. Moreover, Galtier only has one name in the injury table, the American striker, Timothy Weah, the son of African football legend, George Weah.
Lille: Mike Maignan; Jose Fonte, Gabriel, Reinildo Mandava, Zeki Celik; Adama Soumoro, Renato Sanches; Luiz Araujo, Jonathan Ikone, Jonathan Bamba; Victor Osimhen.
Thierry Laurey is likely to employ 3-4-1-2 or 3-4-2-1 formation as they did against Nantes and Monaco. Such can be modified to 5-3-2 when necessary. Fortunately, no players in the squad is sidelined due to the injury.
Strasbourg: Matz Sels; Stefan Mitrovic, Lamine Kone; Alexander Djiku; Ibrahima Sissoko, Kenny Lala, Lionel Carole, Dimitri Lienard; Adrien Thomasson; Nuno Da Costa, Ludovic Ajorque.
Despite not being the favorite for this game, Strasbourg has a better record in the head-to-head encounter against Lille. They have been unbeaten with one victory in the last three meetings.
Lille has all the advantage to win. This is something Jose Fonte and Co have to maximize to climb higher on the standing. Meanwhile, for Strasbourg the better head-to-head record would not mean anything. They tend to lose in their away games.
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