- Preview: Lens vs. Toulouse
Lens will put their 100% record at Stade Bollaert-Deleis on the line later this week as they host Toulouse in Ligue 1 action on Friday.
Heading into this encounter, Les Sang et Or have won two consecutive matches by a 1-0 score, defeating Marseille last weekend, while Toulouse have earned at least a point in each of their league fixtures this month, drawing Strasbourg 2-2 last Sunday.
Since returning to Ligue 1 in 2020-21, Lens have been the model of consistency, finishing in the top half of the table in back-to-back domestic campaigns.
After 12 games this season, Franck Haise’s men have exceeded expectations, sitting second in the table and suffering just a single defeat in league play.
While Lens have been successful when controlling their matches through possession, they have shown an ability to adapt and win with various tactical approaches.
A week ago, they held firm along the backline and their wing-backs did a fantastic job coming back to close down the space of the Marseille attacking players, allowing Lens to create some opportunities the opposite way and eventually find a breakthrough.
In 2022, they have collected 62 points in Ligue 1, with Paris Saint-Germain being the only French side with more over that span (72).
They are currently on their longest domestic home winning streak since January-April 1998 when they also triumphed in six successive encounters.
They should feel confident against a side like Toulouse, who are in their first season back in the top flight, as Lens are unbeaten in their seven domestic fixtures played against newly promoted sides since they returned to Ligue 1 themselves.
The international break in September seemed to be what the reigning Ligue 2 champions needed to get back into form, as Toulouse have moved up to 10th in the table after 12 matches.
Before the domestic campaign was paused in mid-September, Philippe Montanier had seen his side lose four of their five encounters from August 28 to September 17, but since falling 2-1 at Lille, they have points in all four of their domestic fixtures this month.
Their four-match unbeaten run is the longest for Le Tef in the top flight since they collected points in five straight domestic affairs from August to September 2018.
While they are not in relegation danger now, Toulouse could be positioned higher in the standings than they are, having dropped nine points when leading in the second half of a match this season.
In their title-winning campaign in the French second tier a season ago, this team only conceded 33 goals, though they have already allowed 20 after a dozen matches so far in the top flight.
Les Pitchouns have scored multiple goals in five domestic fixtures this season and have yet to lose when doing so in 2022-23.
Lens Ligue 1 form:
Toulouse Ligue 1 form:
We say: Lens 2-0 Toulouse
It is too early to tell if Toulouse can maintain their solid form at the moment, whereas Lens have proven since entering the league that they can compete and earn results against the elite sides in Ligue 1.
That being said, the consistency of Lens and how comfortable they look at home has us tipping the scales in their favour for this encounter.