The round of 16 in the French Cup takes centre stage this week. Lorient will face a tough assignment if they are to progress through to the quarterfinals, as they host Lens on Thursday evening. However, the hosts are enjoying a solid season, and could be good value to be a dark horse contender this term.
French Cup Preview
Lorient have found success hard to come by throughout their history, but the French Cup did potentially produce the best moment in their history. The club registered a maiden victory in the competition back in the 2001-02 season, and they will be looking to repeat that feat over 20 years later this term. The French side has been going along well in Ligue 1 throughout the campaign, and they currently sit just four points outside of the European positions.
However, they needed more than a slice of luck to reach this stage of the competition. In the previous round, they avoided a shock departure against Bastia, eventually claiming a 4-1 win from the penalty spot. Lorient’s goal in the 1-1 draw after 90 minutes was scored by Ibrahima Kone.
It has been an excellent season to this point for Lens, but a recent disappointing run of form has seen them drop to third in the Ligue 1 standings. They were held in their previous fixture against Brest, which was the third game in succession that they failed to pick up a victory in the league.
Lens has never previously won the French Cup, but they have made it to the final on three previous occasions. Their most recent defeat came back in 1998. However, they produced an excellent display in the previous round, as they landed a 3-1 win on the road against Brest. Wesley Said, Facundo Medina, and Adrien Thomasson scored the goals in the win.
Lorient vs Lens Head to Head
Lorient has picked up just one win from the previous five meetings between these sides. But, that success was picked up in their home fixture last term. However, Lens landed a comprehensive 5-2 win in the previous meeting this season.
Lorient vs Lens Prediction
The hosts have put in some fine recent performances in Ligue 1, and they could be set for a good cup run this term. We fancy their chances of getting the victory on Thursday, as the visitors may have their sights set on upcoming Ligue 1 fixtures and their battle to finish in a Champions League spot.
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