Five games without a win has dampened spirits at Montpellier, who have lost as many games (three) in that run as they had done in their first nine in Ligue 1. It doesn't get any easier for them on Friday night (KO, 20:00), as one of the division's most in-form sides, RC Lens, visit the Stade de la Mosson.
With expectations as high as they have been for several years following a second-place finish in 2022/23, Lens started the current season in horrific fashion, losing four and drawing one of their first five league games. But Les Sang et Or have turned things around dramatically since, going unbeaten domestically to move to within four points of the final Champions League qualification spot.
Ahead of Friday night's game, we have picked out a couple of the best bets for your consideration.
The home side will have to make do without centre-back Kiki Kouyate after the Mali international's red card at Monaco last weekend, while Leo Leroy and Jordan Ferri are out injured.
Lens will welcome club-record signing Elye Wahi back from suspension, and the former Montpellier striker will expect to start at his old stomping ground with fellow forward Florian Sotoca set to serve a ban of his own.
Montpellier are 2/1 to end Lens' long unbeaten streak in Ligue 1, with the visitors priced at 13/10 to record a fourth consecutive league win and the draw at 12/5.
Both teams scored in the corresponding fixture last season and it's 8/13 for it to happen again this week.
Both teams to score - NO @ 6/5
Montpellier's start to the season saw them scoring goals at will, with Akor Adams and Mousa Al Tamari leading the way. But the goals have dried up for them since the middle of September - they've blanked in five of their nine games since a 2-2 draw with Strasbourg on September 22, scoring eight in that run.
Despite only Kylian Mbappe (15) having found the net more times than Adams (seven) in Ligue 1, the Nigerian striker has not scored in his last five, while Jordanian Al Tamari is now on a 15-game barren run for club and country after getting two in his first three matches of the campaign.
BTTS - NO has landed in more than half (8/14) of Montpellier's league games, the same number as Lens, who have kept five clean sheets in their last six in the competition.
Draw or Lens and under 2.5 goals @ 6/4
Lens have been on a great run in Ligue 1 of late, but they're still to truly convince on their travels. In seven away games in the league, Franck Haise's side have won just twice, a 3-0 victory over lowly Clermont and a 1-0 at fellow strugglers Strasbourg.
However, they've made themselves difficult to beat since losing their first three away at Brest, PSG and Monaco, going unbeaten in their last four on the road.
Lens to win to nil at 16/5 is a tempting price, but I'm not sure they've totally proven themselves on away days yet, and Montpellier have only lost twice at the Stade de la Mosson.
Three of their seven games there have ended in under 2.5 goals, while four of Lens' away games have seen fewer than three goals, including the back-to-back 0-0's recorded against Le Havre and Lorient.
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