After a five-year absence from the top tier, Lens are back and they’ll be hoping to make a good first impression when they take on Nice.
Making a good start certainly won’t be an easy task, especially if Nice pick up where they left off last season. An impressive fifth-placed finish plus a place in the Europa League has improved the club’s stock in the eye of the casual Ligue Un follower.
The bookmakers are sticking with the hosts ahead of Sunday’s game having priced Nice at even money and Lens at around the 29/10 mark.
Looking at those odds, one of the main questions asked is whether it’s worth taking the bookies on and backing the visitors.
One of the things certainly going for the underdogs is their head to head record with Nice. Franck Haise’s men have won two of their last four encounters with the Eagles, while enduring one defeat.
However, of the main problems with looking at the head to heads is the fact the most recent game took place five years ago and as a result, it no longer seems relevant.
What’s more, Lens haven’t exactly set the world alight with their away performances last season. While the Sang et Or impressed at home and ended the season with the joint-most home wins, Haise’s men could only post the sixth best away record in Ligue 2.
Nice endured a slow start in their pre-season campaign however, recent results have shown that they’re starting to find momentum. A 3-2 win over Rennes, a 6-0 away win over Dunajska Streda and a 2-1 victory over Standard Liege, stand Nice in good stead for this upcoming clash with Lens.
Our recommendation is to back the home side to win 2-1 at the current price of 7/1. Lens don’t often lose to nil and the excitement of once again playing in the top tier could make this closer than most expect. Nevertheless, Nice should be too hot to handle, especially at the Allianz Riviera.
Nice to win 2-1 – 7/1 betfair*
*prices correct at time of writing and are subject to change