Matches 05 December 2020, 15:14

Focus on Lille OSC

Focus on Lille OSC
Freshly qualified for the round of 32 in the Europa League, LOSC, third in the league on 23 points, host AS Monaco, fifth and on the same number of points, in a match at the top.

After an almost perfect start to the championship, Lille have won only one of their last five league games. These results have come without losing confidence, though, as the team secured their qualification for the round of 32 in the Europa League on Thursday evening.

LOSC get it done at home

Since the start of last season, Lille have won 15 home games in Ligue 1 (4 draws, 2 losses), which makes them a formidable home team as only Paris Saint-Germain (16 wins) have done better in that period. As impressive as that statistic is, in view of the weekend’s match against the Rouge et Blanc at home, Les Dogues have lost four of their last five against AS Monaco in the league. In recent years, players from the Principality have had their way in the North and will do everything to inflict only a second defeat of the season on a LOSC side who have lost only once since the start of the season, away to Brest. To go further, that result was the only defeat in all competitions for Christophe Galtier’s men since the start of the season, with Lille having not lost in their first five Europa League games. José Fonte and his teammates have taken four points against AC Milan, one against Celtic Glasgow, and six against Sparta Prague, thanks in particular to Yusuf Yazici who has been in fine form (two hat tricks in five games) and a brace from Burak Yilmaz last Thursday to complete their qualification for the knockout stage.

Burak Yilmaz dethrones Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Recruited along with Jonathan David to take over from Victor Osimhen, who left for Italy, Burak Yilmaz is also Lille’s top scorer in the league this season. The former goalscorer for Besiktas, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce is the first player to be decisive in seven consecutive games with Lille in Ligue 1 over the last 15 seasons, with six goals and two assists, making him the oldest player to record such a run in the top flight (at 35 years and 137 days), dethroning Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had held this record since November 2015. Ever-effective in the opposition penalty area, Lille are also dangerous from range: with four goals scored outside from outside of the area, there is no side better than them in the league. Niko Kovac’s players will have to be vigilant in all areas of the pitch if they want to clinch a fifth consecutive victory, after their four victories against Bordeaux, Nice, Paris and Nimes.

Press conference extracts

We're happy because we are on a very positive run of four wins in a row. We have only conceded three goals and scored twelve, so we're on the right track. So yes we are going to have two big matches, two tests. But I believe that we have shown against Paris that we can answer the call in this type of match.
Niko KovacManager, AS Monaco

Read Niko Kovac’s pre-match press conference

Lille strong attacking players like, for example, Burak Yilmaz who impressed again yesterday by scoring a brace against Prague, but we also have our strengths. Wissam (Ben Yedder), Kevin (Volland), Sofiane (Diop) and Gelson (Martins) are on a good run of form and I hope that we will play as we have done in the last matches. Our attacking players are working together very well and we will of course need them to hope for a good result in Lille.
Benoît BadiashileAS Monaco Defender

Read Benoît Badiashile’s pre-match press conference

Lille OSC – AS Monaco by the numbers:

  • 97: Number of matches in Ligue 1, with 38 wins for AS Monaco, 35 draws and 24 losses (137 goals scored 104 conceded).
  • 48: Number of matches played in Lille, with a record of 13 wins for AS Monaco, 20 draws and 15 losses (60 goals scored, 65 conceded).
  • 5-1: On September 22, 2017, AS Monaco recorded their biggest away win thanks to Stevan Jovetic, Rachid Ghezzal and a double from Radamel Falcao.
  • 629: The central defenders of AS Monaco (Axel Disasi – Benoît Badiashile) and Lille (José Fonte – Sven Botman) are the two pairs of players who have exchanged the most passes in Ligue 1 (343 for the Red and White defenders, 286 for those of LOSC).
  • 6: AS Monaco have won 6 of the last 7 matches against LOSC in Ligue 1 (1 draw), winning 4 times by at least 3 goals.

Rise. Risk. Repeat.