Ligue 1 preview and betting tip: Lens unlikely to slip up in crucial game with Reims

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Only Lens have any real stake in this game as they look to cement their current second spot in the table that would take them directly into next season's Champions League.

They are in good shape to do just that after last weekend's huge 2-1 win against third-placed Marseille, a result that saw the two teams switch positions in the table.

At Stade Bollaert-Delelis, the team led by Franck Haise has dropped points in only two of the 17 games played there so far - a 1-0 reversal to Nice in February and a 1-1 draw in the Derby du Nord against Lille in early March.

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Over the last two months, Lens have been almost perfect, both home and away, winning seven of their last eight games, with their only blemish coming in their 3-1 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain.

Those seven wins have seen them score 16 goals and concede just twice, and their five clean sheets do not bode well for a Reims attack that has found the net just twice in five outings.

Suggested bet: Lens to win to nil

Lens are undefeated in the last nine Ligue 1 games against Reims (4 wins and 5 draws), and although past performance is no guarantee to future success, it's hard to see the in-form home team slipping up in such a vital game.

Reims enjoyed a rich vein of form when Will Still replaced Oscar Garcia as head coach, but too many draws have prevented the Red and Blue team from challenging for the European spots. After losing just one league game out of 22 (won 10, drew 11), Reims' form took a hit and they suffered three straight defeats against Rennes, Strasbourg and Clermont in the second half of April without scoring a single goals. Released from the pressure of a European dream, Reims managed to stop the negative results and squeeze out a narrow 1-0 win against Lille, a team still heavily involved in the fight for the European places.

This suggests that Reims can be a very unpredictable team at this stage of the season, but Lens will be hoping that, with little to play for, their visitors are already on the beach.

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