Grand Stade Lille Metropole

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  • Salomon Kalou 20'
  • Dimitri Payet 49'
  • Salomon Kalou 77'

3 - 0


Lille v Stade de Reims: Preview

Lille captain Rio Mavuba has not ruled out claiming third spot in Ligue 1 ahead of their clash at home to Reims tomorrow night.

Achieving a place in a European competition is the minimum aim for Les Dogues, who finished third last season, but currently lie six points adrift of Lyon in the final Champions League qualifying position with three games remaining.

A 4-2 defeat Toulouse last time out hit their hopes of competing in Europe's elite competition for the third successive season and while Mavuba remains optimistic, he warned they must beat a Reims side who are not yet safe from the drop.

``We can still get a spot in the European Cup and maybe even the third place,'' the midfielder said on his club's official website.

``Mathematically, it is not finished. For now, try to reach the fourth position. It is our goal and we work every day in training to achieve it.

``Although we rely on the results of our competitors, we must first win our games. It will be difficult but nothing is impossible.''

Lille battled back from 2-0 down at the Stadium Municipal last weekend to level the scores before second-half strikes from Daniel Braaten and Eden Ben Basat gave all three points to le Tefece.

Nevertheless, Mavuba, who played his first match in nearly fourth months in the south of France following a knee injury, was heartened by Saturday's events.

``With Toulouse, while we were 2-0, we could have exploded but we managed to level the score,'' he added.

``This proves that we are mentally present and that it will drop nothing until the end season. Unfortunately, a series of individual errors has changed the situation.''

Reims have drawn their last two games to move into 14th and five points clear of the bottom three.

And boss Hubert Fournier is looking to take advantage of Lille's weaknesses at the back - Rudi Garcia's men have conceded seven goals in their last two matches - to make it three games unbeaten.

``This is one of the best teams in the championship, so we can expect something difficult,'' he said

``But I also think that when you concede seven goals in two games as was the case recently for Lille, is that there is something wrong. We need to build on their weaknesses.

``We know they will deliver. There will inevitably be openings. We will do what we did not do in Bordeaux (in their last away match where they drew 0-0) to be much more efficient and opportunistic.''

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