RC Lens – Troyes: Lens Comfortably Cruise To A Temporary Spot At The Top Of The Table (1-0)
The opening fixture for the seventh round of Ligue 1 fixtures in 2022/23 saw high-flying Lens host Troyes at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis. Lens had the chance to temporarily climb all the way to the summit of the Ligue 1 table, and they took it with relative comfort in a commanding win, where they dominated the match from start to finish.
Tactical analysis and match report by Neel Shelat.
Since their promotion in 2020, Franck Haise’s Lens have arguably been the most impressive side in France when you consider their performances in the context of the resources they had available. They narrowly missed out on European football in both of their previous seasons by finishing seventh, and have consistently played a similar brand of football in spite of losing a number of their key players. Their goal this time must have been to go one better and finish in the European spots, and they had certainly started off well in that direction.
Troyes, promoted just a season after Lens, likely have much more measured expectations. Last season, they managed to finish outside the relegation zone in Ligue 1 for the first time in five attempts, but repeating the trick this time around is going to be a lot tougher as each of the bottom four sides are set to go down at the end of this season as the league is trimmed to 18 teams going forward. Nonetheless, they will surely hope to stay up, and they too would not have been displeased with seven points from six games.
Lens lined up in their typical 3-4-2-1 formation, with Brice Samba in goal behind Jonathan Gradit, Kevin Danso and Facundo Medina . . .