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Ligue 1 Saturday preview: Lens looking to strengthen European claim

It's a relatively quiet day in Ligue 1 on Saturday with just two games lined up but there's plenty riding on both of them.

Saturday's action gets underway at 16:00 when Lens, who sit fourth, play host to sixth-placed Lille with both clubs firmly in the race for a European berth. 

At 20:00, defending champions Paris Saint-Germain will hope to tighten their grip on top spot when Nantes, who can't rule out a relegation battle, visit the capital. 

Hosts hoping to enjoy derby delight

WhatLens v Lille
WhereStade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens
When16:00, Saturday 4th March 2023
How to watchEuropean Soccer Live Streaming Highlights
OddsLens 11/8, Draw 23/10, Lille 2/1

The 117th edition of the Derby du Nord should offer up fireworks when Lens welcome Lille to the Stade Bollaert-Delelis. 

It has been a remarkable rise for Lens over recent years and they aren't showing any signs of slowing. 

After five seasons in Ligue 1, Lens returned to the top-flight in 2020/21 and they've gone on to record back-to-back seventh-place finishes under boss Franck Haise. 

Les Sang et Or look set to better those campaigns this time around as they currently sit fourth, level on points with third-placed Monaco, and just two shy of Marseille in second. 

Only the top two are guaranteed a spot in the Champions League with third place heading into the qualification phase, while fourth and fifth offer routes into the Europa League and Conference League respectively. 

Lens' home form has been the driving force behind their lofty position, winning 11 and losing one, while they have conceded a league-low nine goals on their own patch. 

That should provide Haise and co with plenty of optimism ahead of the visit of rivals Lille on Saturday.

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History favours Lille 

In previous Derby du Nord meetings, Lens have won 37 of the 116 encounters with Lille triumphing in 45 and 34 ending in a draw. 

Lille ran out 1-0 winners when hosting earlier this campaign when Jonathan David scored from the penalty spot after Florian Sotoca had missed a spot-kick for Lens. 

Lens have only won one of the last seven when hosting Lille across all competitions, sealing a 1-0 victory last season. 

However, Les Dogues' record on the road in 2022/23, winning just one of their last four and losing five of their 12 fixtures, suggests they may come unstuck this time, so there is value in backing Lens To Win at 11/8

It often tends to be a fiery derby and there's a high likelihood that the cards will flow - eight were shown in the reverse fixture - and backing over 4.5 in the Asian Total Cards market at 1.800 appeals.  

When looking at potential candidates to have their name taken, Lille defender Tiago Djalo, who has received seven this season, looks a strong option at 2/1

Champions can enjoy comfortable evening

WhatParis Saint-Germain v Nantes
WhereParc des Princes, Paris
When20:00, Saturday 4th March 2023
How to watchEuropean Soccer Live Streaming Highlights & BT Sport 2
OddsParis Saint-Germain 3/10, Draw 9/2, Nantes 9/1

Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain sealed an emphatic 3-0 win over second-placed Marseille last time out to open up an eight-point gap at the summit. 

They are yet to taste defeat at home in the league, winning 10 and drawing two, and there's little to suggest that will change when 13th-placed Nantes arrive at the Parc des Princes. 

Nantes did earn a 2-1 win at PSG in March 2021, however, that is their only victory at the 10-time Ligue 1 champions since December 2002 when they pulled off a shock in the Coupe de la Ligue. 

Les Canaris don't tend to perform well on their travels and have registered just two wins from their 13 assignments this term.

Magical Mbappe the man to watch 

Kylian Mbappe leads the way in the Ligue 1 scoring charts with 17 goals to his name and he heads into this clash in fine form. 

The France international has bagged four goals in his last two games, netting braces against Marseille and Lille. 

He also has a strong record when facing Nantes with eight goals scored across 11 Ligue 1 meetings, including a double in the reverse fixture when PSG won 3-0. 

Mbappe is 8/13 To Score Anytime and can be backed at 13/5 to score 2 or more in the Multi Scorers market.  

PSG to win and over 3.5 goals at 7/4 in the Result/Total Goals market also appeals. 

Over 3.5 goals have been scored in the last two meetings between the pair at the Parc des Princes across all competitions with both of those ending in victory for the hosts.

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