Timothy Weah and Jonathan David are on international duty for the USA and Canada respectively, and may be rested when champions LOSC travel to the Stade Gabriel-Montpied to take on promoted Clermont Foot 63 on Saturday.
Clermont Foot 63 - LOSC
- kick-off: 15:00 GMT
North American duo Weah and David have been in fine form for Lille this season, with David in particular beginning to fulfil his potential - his brace against Olympique de Marseille in the final game before the international break taking him onto a Ligue 1 Uber Eats-high six goals for the campaign.
Only recent Stade Rennais FC acquisition Gaëtan Laborde has been able to keep up with the 21-year-old at the top of the goalscoring charts, but sheer geography might hold up les Dogues' star man this week with Canada on the cusp of qualifying for a first FIFA World Cup since 1986.
Cusp of history
The top three teams come the end of CONCACAF qualifiers will punch their ticket to Qatar, and the USA and Canada currently complete the podium behind Mexico. David has scored six goals in the current international campaign and will look to extend his run against Costa Rica in Edmonton, Alberta on Thursday.
Watch: Highlights of Lille's 2-0 win over Marseille
LOSC coach Jocelyn Gourvennec - who concluded his career as a midfielder with Clermont in 2006 - is confident the team will continue to gel, whether or not Weah and David are available this weekend.
"We're getting to know each other better," he explained. "I took the time to get to know the dressing room collectively and individually. We looked each other in the eye, discussed how we should play and what was required. We had to find a balance. I knew it would be difficult to manage a squad which had just won the title but here we are."
Lille have indeed come good following a stuttering start to the season and are up to eighth having won each of their last three Ligue 1 Uber Eats games - victories over Stade de Reims and RC Strasbourg Alsace preceding the Marseille win.
Watch: Highlights of Clermont's 1-1 draw at Lorient
Clermont are just four points back from their visitors in 15th. Last season's Ligue 2 BKT runners-up to haven't won since beating the team that pipped them that title last term, ESTAC Troyes 2-0 in Round 2, but they held FC Lorient to a 1-1 draw in the final game before the break in domestic action.
'Stopped the bleed'
"We could have come away with more," said Gourvennec's opposite number Pascal Gastien. "But we can still be happy that we stopped hemorrhaging goals. We were much more compact. It was a well-earned point. For a promoted team we have a suitable record for this stage of the season."
While Lille have a clean bill of health, Clermont are sweating on the fitness of two players. Winger Jim Allevinah is almost certain to miss out with a thigh problem, while the coach's son Johan Gastien - who has played every game this season - rolled his ankle in training. Oriol Busquets or Jonathan Inglesias could come in for him.
Clermont: Desmas; Zedadka, Hountondji, Ogier, N'Simba; Samed, Gastien; Dossou, Berthomnier, Rashani; Bayo
Lille: Grbic; Çelik, Fonte, Botman, Reinildo; Yazici, André, Xeka, Bamba; Ikoné, Yilmaz