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Preview: Lyon vs. Nimes - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Lyon vs. Nimes - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Ligue 1 clash between Lyon and Nimes, including team news and predicted lineups.

Lyon will be looking to recover from their dismal loss to Montpellier when they welcome Nimes to the Groupama Stadium for Friday's Ligue 1 clash.

Similarly, Nimes also suffered defeat in their last outing as they came out on the wrong end of the scoreline in a six-goal thriller with Rennes.

Match preview

The futures of Lyon pair Houssem Aouar and Memphis Depay are dominating the talk of the transfer window at present, and the duo found themselves in the spotlight for different reasons against Montpellier on Tuesday evening.

Aouar was named in the starting lineup but lasted just 44 minutes before being sent off, while Depay came off the bench to bag his fourth goal of the season from the spot late on.

However, Depay's penalty proved to be nothing more than a mere consolation as a brace from Montpellier's Teji Savanier condemned Lyon to their first league defeat of the season in midweek.

Rudi Garcia's men have taken four points from a possible nine at this early stage of the season, and the Lyon manager will be aware that this form cannot be allowed to continue if Les Gones are to secure a route back into the Champions League.

However, Lyon are now returning to familiar surroundings at the Groupama Stadium, where they thrashed Dijon in their opening game of the 2020-21 season and are yet to taste defeat this year.

Meanwhile, Nimes put up quite a fight against Champions League contenders Rennes last weekend and looked set to take a share of the spoils with 20 minutes to go.

However, with the scores level at 2-2, Nayef Aguerd and Benjamin Bourigeaud both struck for Rennes as Nimes walked away from the game with nothing to show for their valiant efforts.

Nimes have failed to build on their 4-0 drubbing of Brest in the opening weekend, and despite the fact that Lyon's form leaves a lot to be desired, Jerome Arpinon's men will need to produce a spirited performance if they are to avoid a third defeat in a row on Friday evening.

Les Crocodiles have no trouble finding the back of the net – as evidenced by seven goals from their opening three matches – but Arpinon's side can only boast two away wins from their last 22 in the French top flight as they bid to stave off relegation once again.

Depay and Aouar were both on the scoresheet as Lyon thrashed Nimes 4-0 last season, while Les Crocodiles have not tasted victory against their opponents since the 1992-93 campaign.

Lyon Ligue 1 form: WDL

Nimes Ligue 1 form: WLL

Team News

Garcia's system came under scrutiny following their loss to Montpellier, and the Lyon boss will already be forced into one change with Arsenal-linked Aouar suspended.

Nevertheless, Garcia is expected to stick his favoured three-at-the-back formation, but Depay and Moussa Dembele will look to start this one.

Left-back Melvin Bard impressed off the bench against Montpellier and could feature from the opening whistle on Friday, while teenage protege Rayan Cherki will also be hopeful of getting some more first-team action.

As for Nimes, Arpinon has confirmed that Lucas Deaux and Sofiane Alakouch will both be forced to sit this one out.

The Nimes manager also revealed that Romain Philippoteaux is eyeing a move away from the club and is not match ready.

Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Marcelo, Denayer, Andersen; Dubois, Caqueret, Guimaraes, Bard; Depay; Dembele, Ekambi

Nimes possible starting lineup:
Reynet; Paquiez, Landre, Martinez, Meling; Cubas, Fomba; Ferhat, Benrahou, Duljevic; Kone

We say: Lyon 2-1 Nimes

Nimes will undoubtedly feel that they will not have a better opportunity to record their first victory against Lyon in 27 years given the recent troubles at Les Gones, but even without Aouar in the middle, the home side still boast a superior quality of players and we can only see Garcia's men coming away with all three points in a closely-fought battle on Friday.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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