Lille's Jonathan David celebrates a goal

Derby Du Nord Preview: High Stakes in Lille

Derby Du Nord Preview: High Stakes in Lille

Publish on 03/29 at 15:00 - E. DEVIN


There's never any love lost between LOSC Lille and RC Lens, and with European implications, tonight's Derby du Nord is no exception.

There's never any love lost in the Derby du Nord -- the classic match between Lille and Lens. Separated by just 40 kilometers, there's always been a ferocity to matches between the two sides, even as Lille, with two titles in the last 15 years, have often had the upper hand, with Lens spending time in the second tier twice in that span.

In recent seasons, though, it has been a far more even match, with Lens resurgent under Franck Haise, having themselves come within a point of the title last season. Indeed, after a bumpy start this season, Le Sang et Or have been back to their best in recent months, with record signing Elye Wahi scoring four goals in his last five appearances. He, along with David Da Costa Pereira and Florian Sotoca, have become part of a settled from three for the visitors, who have lost just once in their last six away matches.

Les Dogues, of course, have their own in-form striker in Jonathan David. No one in Europe's top five leagues has scored more goals than the Canadian international since the turn of the calendar year and with seven goals in his last six league matches, he is particularly strong form.


He will unfortunately be missing the service of Angel Gomes, who picked up an injury over the international break. The versatile midfielder has six assists this year, but will miss at least two weeks owing to a hamstring injury. Lens also have a crucial absence in the form of defender Jonathan Gradit, but both sides are more than capable of turning in a good display.

The stakes for this match are clear -- with France confirmed to be receiving a fourth Champions League spot next season, Les Dogues will want to put pressure on the likes of Brest and Monaco ahead of their matches, while a win for Lens would see them draw level with their bitter rivals, firmly reinserting themselves into the chase for Europe.

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