Lille vs. Reims: Ligue 1 Showdown Between Strong Starters

Lille experienced frustration in the previous round of Ligue 1 when they squandered a 2-0 lead in the final 20 minutes, settling for a draw with Rennes. Despite this setback, Lille’s current five-game start to the league campaign (with two wins, two draws, and one loss) is their strongest since their title-winning season in 2020/21. They should enter this midweek clash with confidence, having launched their European campaign with a resounding 2-0 home win over Ljubljana.

With a remarkable record of winning each of their last seven home league games, which is the longest ongoing run in the division, Lille stands on the cusp of matching their longest home league winning streak since the turn of the century with just one more victory. Their impressive home form extends beyond just winning, as Les Dogues have been unbeaten in all but one of their home league games when they were pre-match favorites since the start of the 2022/23 season (with 13 wins, four draws, and one loss). They carry the favorites tag once again in this encounter against Reims.

Reims, without the distraction of midweek European commitments, had ample time to reflect on their 2-1 defeat against Brest in the last round. The loss was particularly frustrating as Still’s men had led 1-0 at halftime. This defeat leveled Reims’ record at the beginning of the league season (with two wins, one draw, and two losses), which actually represents their joint-strongest start since their top-flight return in 2018/19.

Impressively, four of Reims’ seven points this season have been earned on the road (with one win, one draw, and one loss). However, it could have been even better, considering that Reims held the lead in each of their away outings. Their inability to turn strong performances into victories isn’t a new trend, as Reims has scored away from home but failed to secure a win in each of their last four away head-to-head clashes, with two of those matches seeing them take the lead (with two draws and two losses).

Two players to keep an eye on in this clash are Lille’s Jonathan David and Reims’ Teddy Teuma. Jonathan David has contributed to goals in five of Lille’s eight competitive games this season, boasting an impressive 100% scoring rate in home head-to-head matches against Reims, with three goals to his name. On the opposing side, Teddy Teuma, Reims’ Maltese midfielder, saw his 23-game streak of winning goal-scoring appearances come to an end with his goal in a 2-2 draw against Metz earlier this month.

A noteworthy statistic is that Reims has managed to secure points from eight of their last 13 away league games when they were considered pre-match outsiders (with two wins, six draws, and five losses). As Lille looks to bounce back from their recent frustration and Reims aims to build on their strong start to the season, this Ligue 1 showdown promises to be an intriguing battle between two teams with distinct strengths and ambitions.

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