Lens head coach Franck Haise expects to see an improvement from his side when they bid to move up to second in the Ligue 1 standings by beating Angers at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Friday night (Match result – Lens 4/5, Draw 5/2, Angers 18/5).
Lens are enjoying an impressive season in Ligue 1 and a victory on Friday would lift them above both Rennes and Nice into second position, although they would still be 10 points behind runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Despite their campaign proving largely successful to date, Lens did suffer a 4-0 humbling at the hands of Brest last weekend and Haise knows his side cannot afford a repeat performance against Angers, who could move level on points with their hosts with a victory of their own.
“I was very disappointed and when I looked back at the video the day after the game, we were far off the level we need to produce,” Haise told reporters when reflecting on last week’s defeat in Brittany.
“There was disappointment that lingered for several days and we need to do better. It’s possible to lose to any side but not in that manner.”
Ligue 1 is not the only place to enjoy Friday night football, as there is also a relegation six pointer taking place in Serie A, with the bottom two, Cagliari and Salernitana set to meet in Sardinia (Match betting – Cagliari 4/5, Draw 13/5, Salernitana 10/3).
Both sides are locked together on seven points and four adrift of safety, which makes it no surprise that they are also struggling for form, with Cagliari having taken just one point from their last five games, while it is five defeats in six for Salernitana.
Stuttgart are also harbouring relegation fears in the Bundesliga, as they head into their home clash with Mainz on Friday sitting 16th in the standings and having lost three league matches on the spin (Match result – Stuttgart 15/8, Draw 9/4, Mainz 6/4).
In contrast, Mainz are unbeaten in four and a big enough win at the Mercedes-Benz Arena would see Bo Svensson’s side end the night in the top four.
La Liga’s Friday night offering will come from the San Mames in Bilbao.
Athletic Club will be hoping to snap a four-game winless run when they entertain a Granada side who are only sitting outside the relegation zone on goal difference following back-to-back defeats to Espanyol and Real Madrid (Match betting – Bilbao 2/5, Draw 10/3, Granada 7/1).