Crazybola.com – LOSC Lille will be determined to get out of their Ligue 1 problem by trying to find a good start to their first week of their Champions League group stage at home to German side Wolfsburg on Wednesday (15/9) CET.
Lille booked their place in the group stage of the Champions League after clinching the Ligue 1 title last season, while their visitors are fourth in the Bundesliga.
Trying to emulate Christophe Galtier, who is now leading Nice so well, will be something Jocelyn Gourvennec will find difficult at Lille, with reigning champions France now in the shadow of their former selves.
Actually LOSC Lille had started their season very well, beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in the German Super Cup to become Jocelyn Gourvennec’s first title at the club, but those results failed to continue as they entered the new Ligue 1 season.
Les Dogues then won just once (2-1 vs Montpellier) from their five league games so far, lost twice (0-4 vs Nice and 2-1 vs Lorient) and drew twice (3-3 vs Metz and 1-1 vs. Saint-Etienne).
Having enjoyed their best Bundesliga season since their second-placed finish in 2014/2015, Wolfsburg have continued to thrive under new coach Mark van Bommel, who started their new season with almost no errors.
At the start of this season, Wolfsburg currently top the German League standings with four wins from their four matches with wins over Bochum (1-0), Hertha Berlin (1-2), Leipzig (1-0), and most recently Greuther. Furth (0-2).
The two teams have met only twice so far in the Europa League in 2014. The two teams drew 1-1 in Germany before Wolfsburg humiliated Lille 0-3 in France.
Lille will be without Renato Sanches, Jonathan Bamba, Timothy Weah and Orestis Karnezis. Mehmet Zeki Celik is also a doubt.
Xaver Schagler, William and Bartosz Bialek are not expected to feature for Wolfsburg. Paulo Otavio’s involvement is also in doubt.
Lille XI (4-4-2): Ivo Grbic; Reinildo Mandava, Jose Fonte, Sven Botman, Tiago Djalo; Yusuf Yazici, Benjamin Andre, Xeka, Angel Gomez; Burak Yilmaz, Jonathan David
Wolfsburg XI (4-2-3-1): Koen Casteels; Jerome Roussillion, Sebastiaan Bornauw, John Anthony Brooks, Ridle Baku; Max Arnold, Joshua Guilavogui; Dodi Lukebakio, Max Philipp, Renato Steffen; Wout Weghorst
Lille’s recent experience in the competition has been terrible, losing 7 of their last 8 matches and conceding at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 Champions League matches.
Lille have won just one of their five Ligue 1 games so far despite being the reigning league champions, getting off to a bad start in their quest to retain the title.
Wolfsburg have actually performed very well in the Bundesliga, with a clean sweep of all four of their matches so far. Mark Van Bommel has a decent enough squad to make some rotations and will probably do so here to snatch at least a point away from the Pierre-Mauroy Stadium.
Score Prediction: Lille 1-1 Wolfsburg