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Ligue 1 | Gameweek 30
Apr 20, 2024 at 4pm UK
Stade de la Beaujoire - Louis Fonteneau

0 - 3

Chirivella (84')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Kalimuendo (67'), Bourigeaud (76' pen.), Gouiri (90+1')
Wooh (40'), Doue (45'), Santamaria (52'), Doue (63')

Preview: Nantes vs. Rennes - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Nantes vs. Rennes - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Ligue 1 clash between Nantes and Rennes, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Bidding to avoid a harrowing ninth straight loss at the Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes host a faltering Rennes side in a Ligue 1 Derby Breton affair on Saturday afternoon.

Les Canaris have made a positive start to life back under the tutelage of Antoine Kombouare, while their visitors' European hopes are fading amid a dismal losing sequence.

Match preview

To quote the late Meat Loaf, two out of three is not bad for returning Nantes boss Kombouare, who has masterminded away triumphs over Nice and Le Havre either side of a home beating at the hands of Lyon since coming back to the Canaris dugout.

Saturday's hosts left it incredibly late to sink fellow bottom-half battlers Le Havre last weekend, though, as in the third minute of second-half injury time, Abdoul Kader Bamba drove infield unchallenged and found the far corner with a low strike to seal a dramatic success for Kombouare's side.

Owing to just their ninth top-flight victory of 2023-24, Les Canaris have their Ligue 1 fate in their own hands in 14th place in the standings, five points clear of both the automatic relegation zone and Lorient - who have a match in hand - in the playoff place with just five games remaining.

However, victories have been far easier to come by on the road for Nantes, whose loss to Lyon on April 7 was their eighth successive defeat at their Beaujoire base, where they have not avoided a reverse since edging out Nice at the beginning of December.

The hosts' shocking sequence of results on familiar turf is unsurprisingly their longest home losing run in their 81-year history, and Nantes have only found the back of the net on three occasions at the Stade de la Beaujoire in 2024 so far, but they are arguably tackling the more esteemed Rennes at the best time.

Similar to his opposite number Kombouare, Julien Stephan - another Coupe de France-winning coach - was also lured back to his old stomping ground this season, but Les Rouges et Noir's season is now at risk of ending with a whimper.

A far cry from the indomitable force which won eight successive matches from December to February, Rennes head to Nantes on the back of four straight losses in all tournaments, a streak which includes an agonising Coupe de France elimination versus Paris Saint-Germain.

As far as Ligue 1 matters are concerned, Stephan's troops have come up short against Strasbourg, Monaco and most recently Toulouse, who replied to Desire Doue's opener last Saturday with strikes from Cristian Casseres and Moussa Diarra in a frenzied first half.

Entrenched in mid-table in 10th spot, Les Rouges et Noir are four points off the top six and five back from Nice in the Europa League position, while just one of their last seven away games has ended in victory; a Coupe de France beating of fourth-tier outfit Le Puy Foot.

Now reuniting with Brittany foes Nantes for the 50th time in all tournaments, Rennes can take comfort from their three-game wining streak against Les Canaris, who fell to a 3-1 loss at Roazhon Park in October and have only triumphed in two of their last 20 matches with Saturday's out-of-sorts visitors.

Nantes Ligue 1 form:

Rennes Ligue 1 form:

Rennes form (all competitions):

Team News

Nantes' attacking endeavours at home have not been helped by the absence of Moses Simon - out for the rest of the season with a broken foot - while Tino Kadewere should not be back from his calf problem for another couple of weeks either.

The hosts' third and final concern relates to 18-year-old defender Bastien Meupiyou, who is nursing a knee injury, so a man nearly 19 years his senior in Nicolas Pallois will continue to marshal the rearguard.

Kombouare should only consider one alteration to his 4-2-3-1 shape for Saturday's showdown, where Kader Bamba's winner off the bench against Le Havre could put him in contention for selection over Rennes loanee Matthis Abline, although the latter boasts two goals and an assist from his last three games.

Regarding the visitors, Enzo Le Fee's return to the first XI was short-lived against Toulouse, as the 24-year-old - back in the starting lineup for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury in February - came off in the first half with a fresh concern.

The severity of Le Fee's latest issue is not known, but the midfielder will likely cede his spot in the engine room to ex-Nantes man Ludovic Blas, Azor Matusiwa or Fabian Rieder as he joins Adrien Truffert (muscle) in the medical bay.

Stephan has a fully-fit squad otherwise, though, and the Les Rouges et Noir coach could also spring a defensive surprise by bringing in Christopher Wooh for Jeanuel Belocian on the left-hand side with Truffert sidelined.

Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Amian, Castelletto, Pallois, Duverne; Moutoussamy, Chirivella; Mollet, Sissoko, Abline; Mohamed

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; G. Doue, Omari, Theate, Wooh; Bourigeaud, Santamaria, Blas, D. Doue; Gouiri, Kalimuendo

We say: Nantes 1-1 Rennes

Rennes' quality - particularly in the final third - may significantly outweigh that of their hosts, but Stephan's offensive forces have left a lot to be desired in recent weeks, particularly on rival territory.

As a result, a Nantes squad relishing the return of Kombouare may be good enough for a share of the spoils against Les Rouges et Noir, thus ending their disheartening streak of home losses at the ninth attempt.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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