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Metz vs Lens: Preview and Prediction

Metz’s yo-yo existence between the top two divisions of French football is set to continue this summer unless they can quickly reverse their fortunes. The Grenats have been relegated or promoted in seven of the last ten seasons and currently find themselves three points above the relegation zone in Ligue 1, with time running out to escape the dreaded red zone.

Their latest setback was a thrilling 4-3 defeat to an in-form Brest side, leaving manager László Bölöni “angry” with his players for letting a 1-0 lead slip. Worryingly, a return to Saint-Symphorien is unlikely to bring a change in fortunes as Metz have lost six of their last seven home matches (1v), with their only victory during this period coming against bottom-placed Clermont.

This is good news for Lens, who come into the match on the back of a three-game winless run (1n, 2d) that has seen them fall out of the Champions League qualification places. The most damaging of these results was undoubtedly the 2-1 derby defeat to Lille, who currently occupy fourth place and sit six points ahead of Les Sang et Or heading into this matchday.

Last weekend, Lens drew 1-1 with Le Havre, with manager Franck Haise acknowledging that his side’s chances of securing a top-four finish were over after that match. However, a Europa League spot is still up for grabs, and the boss will be hoping his visitors can rediscover their away form, where they have won three of their last five league matches, keeping a clean sheet in each (1n, 1d).

Key Battle: Georges Mikautadze has scored five goals in 11 appearances since returning to Metz in January, with four of those being the first or last goals of the match. Lens defender Jonathan Gradit has won only one of his seven head-to-head battles against Mikautadze (3n, 3d), keeping just one clean sheet in those encounters – a 0-0 draw.

Hot Stat: Both teams have scored in only four of Lens’ 14 away league matches this season. This is the lowest tally in Ligue 1.


This match is a crucial one for both sides, with Metz desperately fighting for survival and Lens hoping to salvage their season with a Europa League berth. The home advantage could be a factor, but Lens’ superior away form gives them a slight edge. A tight and tense encounter is expected, with Lens possibly edging it out in the end.

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