Ligue 1 Match Preview: Lille vs. Metz

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Updated: August 5, 2014
Lille 2014

Match Date: 09 August 2014 (local)

Match venue: Stade Pierre-Mauroy

(Featured image: Lille | Source: monacobr.com)

 

Lille and Metz will face for the first time since 2008 as the sides have been playing in separate leagues for the past six years. Inevitably, a plenty of things have already changed from both teams but will last season’s Ligue 1 third placers and the Ligue 2 champions be able to produce a stunner?

 

Lille

 

Lille were one of Ligue 1’s most exciting teams in the 2013-14 season (as with the past ones), having been able to maintain a loyal fan base through excellent stunts and their refusal to be branded as minnows. They spent the majority of their campaign within the league table’s top three and successfully earned seeding for the Champions League Third qualifying round. A true powerhouse, they were a constant threat to fellow title chasers Monaco (who were newly promoted at the time) and the eventual winners, PSG.

 

Les Dogues were unbeaten for 31 non-consecutive weeks in the top-flight tournament, giving them 71 points from 38 appearances to rank higher than 17 other league clubs. They also produced one of the competition’s best scorers: Salomon Kalou netted 16 goals and finished the season as the second (tied with four others) best player of the season.

 

Metz

 

The winners of Ligue 2, Metz obtained automatic promotion to the French top-tier football. They will be returning to the tournament after seven seasons of absence. Their campaign last term has been very impressive, earning 76 points in 38 appearances from 22 wins and 10 draws. Their score, in a raw translation, would have ranked them third in Ligue 1 from the same league period.

 

Although they did not deliver the biggest win in any match nor did they produce the season’s top scorer, Les Grenats recorded Ligue 2’s longest winning run for the season, inflicting disasters to sides such as Chateauroux, Brest, Angers, Istres, Dijon, Amneville, CA Bastia, and Auxere all in seven straight weeks. However, their efficiency might have only been working for the French second-tier league. In their recent pre-season friendlies, they have only managed to win one out of their four non-competitive matches, losing to Sporting Charleroi and Sochaux as well as drawing with Reims.

 

Football betting tip: Lille will open their campaign with a robust victory over Metz.