Burak Yilmaz, Saint-Etienne, Lille

Yilmaz and Lille two games from the title

Yilmaz and Lille two games from the title

Publish on 05/12 at 22:44


Burak Yilmaz and LOSC welcome AS Saint-Étienne to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Sunday with the 2020-21 Ligue 1 Uber Eats title theirs to lose.

LOSC - AS Saint-Étienne




Lille are three points clear of champions Paris Saint-Germain with six points left to play for, meaning a first Ligue 1 Uber Eats title since 2011 will be theirs if they can pick up more points against Sainté and Dijon FCO than PSG can against Stade de Reims and Stade Brestois 29.


Yilmaz has been a large part of the somewhat surprising LOSC success story this season, hitting a team-high 15 goals at a rate of one every 126 minutes he has played in his maiden campaign in the French top flight, despite his 35 years.


Turkish delight


The Turkey striker - one of three Turks providing delight at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy this season alongside Zeki Çelik and Yusuf Yazici - bagged another two as Lille beat their Derby du Nord rivals RC Lens 3-0 last Friday, and coach Christophe Galtier could hardly be more pleased with his charges.


Watch: Highlights of Lille's 3-0 win over Lens



"This is a group which is united and accepts my selection choices," he laughed after a victory in which he benched Yazici, Jonathan Ikoné and Renato Sanches, among others. "They work for each other, which is a trademark of this team. There's a lot of talent and hard work, but we have to stay focused.


"Ten minutes from time, I was already thinking about the Saint-Étienne match."


Full complement


Galtier, reportedly attracting interest from France and beyond, will have been mostly concerned with how to fit his talents together. Lille have a clean bill of health for the game, although Benjamin André and Domagoj Bradaric are only one yellow card away from a suspension.


Saint-Étienne begin the day 10 places and 34 points behind the league leaders, with neither the European chase nor relegation any concern to Claude Puel's side at this stage of the season.


They held Lille to a 1-1 draw in November's reverse fixture, though - Wahbi Khazri's opener cancelled out by Ikoné - and have won each of their last two and four of their last six following Sunday's 1-0 win over Olympique de Marseille, settled by Arnaud Nordin's first-half strike.


Watch: Highlights of Saint-Etienne's 1-0 win over Marseille



First-choice goalkeeper Jessy Moulin has been out since March with a groin strain, but the aptly-named Etienne Green has deputised with aplomb, and was singled out for special praise by Puel after the game.


Green by name…


"We were tired in the second half, but the team remained focused and strong," he said. "We could have gone into our shell, but Etienne Green made some big stops. The victory is well deserved, I think, against a very good opponent. We had to work hard. Well done to my players."


As well as Moulin, Anthony Modeste and Yvann Maçon are on the sidelines with groin and knee injuries respectively. ASSE will likely try and match Lille's 4-4-2, with Khazri and one of Romain Hamouma or Charles Abi leading the line.


Possible teams


LOSC: Maignan; Celik, Fonte, Botman, Reinildo; Araujo, André, Soumaré, Bamba; Yilmaz, David


Saint-Etienne: Green; Debuchy, Moukoudi, Cissé, Trauco; Nordin, Gourna-Douath, Neyou, Bouanga; Khazri, Hamouma


>> REPORT: Yilmaz fires Lille past Lens and towards title

>> FOCUS: Turkish trio delighting Lille