It‘s been a difficult couple of weeks for Lens in Ligue 1, as they have dropped to fourth in the table after a recent dip in form. This has been a major concern for the club, which has been among the top three sides in the division since the start of the season. This recent drop in form has been caused by a number of factors. First and foremost, their defence has been poor. They have conceded seven goals in their last five games, and their lack of discipline and organisation has been exposed. Secondly, their attack has been misfiring. Despite boasting some of the best forwards in the division, they have failed to live up to expectations, scoring just four goals in their last five matches. The team has won only one out of their last five matches dating back to January and has drawn two and lost two since then. This has seen the team fall behind in fourth, with Monaco and Marseille moving ahead, along with Lille and Rennes not far behind. Below, we look at some of their stats from their current season.
Overall performance this season
The above viz shows the percentile rank of Lens in attacking, defensive, and possession stats compared to other teams in Ligue 1. We can clearly observe that they are ranked well in attacking stats, especially for crosses and shots per 90. They are decent for entries into the opposition’s penalty area per 90. Defensively, too, they are performing well in their game in terms of high-pressure success rate but lack a lot in terms of recoveries per 90.
Lens – Overall xG vs Last five games
Lens are currently in fourth place in the 2022–23 French Ligue 1, with 46 points from 23 matches played. They have scored 32 goals (39.42 xG) and conceded only 18 goals (20.2 xGA). They have scored most of their goals from around the six-yard box. They have also managed to take quite a few shots on target from outside the box. They are successful in taking shots from hazardous locations inside the penalty box, which raises their xG. Lens have an average xG of 1.91 this season and an average of 32% shot accuracy, taking 13 shots per 90 minutes.
In their last five games, the team has scored only three goals from 67 shots, putting them at an xG of 8.47 overall. All of the goals have come from inside the box, and the team has an xG per shot of 0.13. This drop in form has seen them drop points since they have not been able to convert and put the game to bed against favourable opponents.
Most recent performance
The above visuals depict Lens’ pass and shot map for their most recent Ligue 1 outing against Lyon. The team can be seen playing in the middle of the pitch. They play with three at the back and make sure to maintain possession, averaging 58.39% possession per 90. Additionally, they complete 529 passes per match on average.
The team took 13 shots, of which only four were on target, against Lyon and managed to score one goal. They finished the match with a low xG of 1.14. The match ended 2-1 in favour of Lyon, who were playing at home despite Lens’ overall wish to maintain lots of possession.
Recent lapse in defence
The graph above depicts the stats for Lens’ defensive territory in Ligue 1 in 2022/23. They have 37.8 interceptions per 90 minutes. It indicates that Lens are involved in a lot of defensive actions in the defensive third. The team gives up 13.78 fouls on average and wins 58.7% of their defensive duels. The team concedes 0.78 goals on average, which has been a reason behind their success this season. They have conceded only 18 goals in the league so far, out of which seven have come in the last five matches, which has seen them miss out on a huge opportunity to take the lead. Instead, the team has seen itself fall down into the Europa League spot.
The team has given up a huge amount of fouls in their last five matches and has fared poorly in other departments while defending. They have conceded seven goals in their last five outings, which has shown their poor current form in defence.
Finally, Franck Haise has been unable to find the right balance between attack and defence. His formations have been too defensive, leaving Lens vulnerable in defence and toothless in attack. In order to turn their fortunes around, Lens need to address each of their lapses in defence in the recent games and also boost their form in front of the goal. Lens need to win their next few games in order to ensure a spot in the race for European qualification.
Visuals via Wyscout and TFA data viz engine