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Lille: The Underdogs

Lille team on the field
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With just eight games remaining this season, the race for the French League title sits on a knife’s edge and is as interesting as the constant Neymar transfer rumours!


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Over the years, with the inflow of money and therefore the quality of players, Paris Saint Germain has dominated the French League. No other team comes close to them when it comes to league success  and almost every team fails to provide the level of consistency that PSG does. This season however, has seen a huge turn of events. Lille is currently second in the league on sixty-three points, equal with PSG, though the defending French Champions are ahead on goal difference. With just eight games remaining this season the title is still up for grabs for Lille who have displayed some beautiful football this season

Contributions for Lille for come from various parts of the pitch and they have been exceptional to watch this season, especially Sven Botman. The 21-year-old Dutch Centre Back has got everything a team could look for in a defender. Be it passing, clearing, winning aerials, tackling or just holding onto the ball. The youngster had been a big part of rumour mill during the January transfer window where clubs like Liverpool and Real Madrid showed their interest in signing the player. Alongside Botman, the experienced Jose Fonte has started to find form after a poor spell at Chinese club, Dalian Professional FC. The duo has combined effectively together and Lille have only conceded seventeen goals compared to last season’s twenty-seven goals at this stage. French goalkeeper Mike Maignan is currently leading the race for the golden glove with sixteen clean sheets out of a possible thirty-three ahead of Keylor Navas. When it comes to their attack, both strikers have delivered with fine performances through the season. Jonathan David and Burak Yilmaz have combined for eighteen goals while another key man in their squad, Turkish International Yusuf Yazici has slotted home eleven times in his twenty-six matches this season. Jonathan Bamba and Jonathan Ikone are two players who have been the fulcrum to Lille’s recent success. The two wingers have piled on the misery for their opposition’s defensive units with their rapid speed and accurate crossing ability.

Lille face Paris Saint Germain on the 3rd of April, Matchday 31 and this could perhaps be the night that defines who will go on to be crowned French League Champions. Since winning the League back in 2010/11, Lille has failed to get their hands on any silverware, but that could change for them if they manage to put one past or even hold off PSG on the 3rd and carry that momentum into the rest of their season. 


[Image Credit: LOSC]