Sunday is a special day in Ligue 1. At 4pm the Derby du Nord returns for the first time in three years. RC Lens host Lille OSC in the Stade de France and the away side will be hoping Liverpool loanee Divock Origi is their derby day hero and returns to scoring ways.
The Belgian international hasn’t scored since Lille last won a game at the end of September; in fact the 19-year-old has scored more for Belgium than he has for his club in recent months.
It hasn’t all been Origi’s fault, Lille has only scored five goals in 11 games since the 1-0 win over Bastia, and they will need a much improved performance if they want to beat their rivals on Sunday.
On Wednesday night, Lille impressed as they drew 1-1 with Paris Saint-Germain at the Stade Pierre Mauroy. The 2011 champions showed much more desire and fight then what they have in previous weeks and definitely didn’t look like a side that are only three points off the relegation zone.
That gap could be reduced today if their neighbours and closest rivals Lens can pick up a vital victory at the Stade de France. Les Sang et Or sit 18th in Ligue 1 after 16 games and have only won twice in six games.
After their 2-0 win over Metz in Week 14, they lost by the same score against Monaco on Tuesday, despite the home side being reduced to 10-men for the majority of the game.
The last time the two sides met, Lille won 1-0 at the old Stade Lille Metropole, but both sides were in different places at that time. Lille went on to be crowned champions and Lens was relegated to Ligue 2.
Now, both sides are on the same level, making for what could be an intriguing and hotly-contested battle. If Lille wants to win on Sunday they will need Origi to be at his best. This is the sort of game that can define a player, and is the perfect game for the Liverpool loanee to the kind of atmosphere that awaits him as a Liverpool player.
RC Lens: Riou – Cavaré, Gbamin, Kantari, Baal – Le Moigne, Cyprien, Valdivia – Nomenjanahary, Coulibaly – Guillaume
Lille OSC: Enyeama – Corchia, Kjaer, Rozehnal, Béria – Mavuba, Delaplace, Gueye – Martin – Roux, Origi