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Feb 24, 2021 at 6pm UK
Ripart (88' pen.)
Guessoum (65'), Reynet (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Moffi (39'), Boisgard (61'), Grbic (90+3'), Laporte (90+4')

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

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

Two of the bottom three teams in the Ligue 1 table meet in Wednesday's rescheduled fixture as 19th-placed Nimes welcome 18th-placed Lorient to the Stade des Costieres.

This game was originally due to be played in January, but a coronavirus outbreak in the Merlus camp forced the relegation six-pointer to be postponed.

Match preview

The Nimes revolution under Pascal Plancque continued at the weekend, as the relegation-threatened Crocodiles followed up their 2-0 win over Dijon with victory over Bordeaux by the same scoreline at the Stade des Costieres.

Birger Meling's well-taken first-time finish broke the deadlock in the first half before a looping header from Renaud Ripart - his fifth goal of the campaign and second in as many matches - wrapped up the three points for a Nimes outfit who are starting to believe again.

Les Crocodiles are still fighting an uphill battle to preserve their top-flight status for another season, but as the only team in the bottom half to have taken six points from their last two matches, the fight for survival is well and truly on under Plancque.

This week's hosts ended a nine-game losing run at home across all competitions with their deserved triumph over an out-of-sorts Bordeaux, but despite keeping back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season, the 51 goals that Nimes have shipped so far remains the most in Ligue 1.

Plancque's side face off against Nantes in another crunch match at the bottom of the table this weekend, so keeping the momentum going from their two previous successes will be of paramount importance to Plancque, especially seeing as they will climb out of the relegation zone with three points on Wednesday.

Lorient's incredible revival was going to end at some point, and having managed to hold Monaco to a draw the weekend before, they were simply no match for league leaders Lille last time out.

Les Merlus did restore parity through Jerome Hergault after Andreaw Gravillon's unfortunate own goal, but Lille finished the job thanks to goals from Jose Fonte, Jonathan Ikone and Domagoj Bradaric as Lorient's hot streak came to a crashing halt on their own patch.

Christophe Pelissier's men had won four and drawn two in all competitions before the visit of the league leaders - with the quartet of victories all coming at home - and with Nantes claiming a point against Marseille, Lorient have slipped back into the relegation playoff place.

This week's visitors have managed to hold Rennes and Monaco to draws away from home since making their return from a major coronavirus outbreak, but they have only won once on their travels all season and have shipped at least two goals in six of their last seven away matches - only midweek opponents Nimes have a worse defensive record in the top flight.

A draw would hardly be the ideal result for any manager, but if one team manages to prevail, they ought to be feeling much more optimistic about their chances of avoiding the drop, and Lorient came up trumps 3-0 in the reverse fixture back in December.

Nimes Ligue 1 form: WLLLWW
Nimes form (all competitions): LLLLWW

Lorient Ligue 1 form: WWDWDL
Lorient form (all competitions): WDWWDL

Team News

Zinedine Ferhat provided the assist for Meling's opener at the weekend, but the winger is suspended for this game due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

Niclas Eliasson should therefore return to the flanks, but Anthony Briancon left the field on a stretcher in the 36th minute, and the defender is feared to have torn his hamstring - leaving Plancque with hardly any recognised centre-backs as Loick Landre and Pablo Martinez are also nursing injuries.

The hosts' victory over Bordeaux was all the more impressive given that they also lost midfield lynchpins Andres Cubas and Lucas Deaux to injuries beforehand, while Sofiane Alakouch and Karim Aribi were also forced off on Sunday to add to Nimes' growing injury list.

With Paul Nardi and Vincent Le Goff back on the bench at the weekend, all of Lorient's COVID-affected players have finally recovered, so Thomas Fontaine, Sylvain Marveaux and Matthieu Saunier are the only three concerns for Pelissier.

However, Hergault will not want to be displaced by Le Goff at left-back after scoring his first goal for the club at the weekend, but Nardi will hope to demote Matthieu Dreyer back down to the bench.

Two further changes for the visitors could see Laurent Abergel and Thomas Monconduit return to the engine room.

Nimes possible starting lineup:
Reynet; Burner, Ueda, Miguel, Meling; Ahlinvi; Benrahou, Ripart, Fomba, Eliasson; Kone

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Delaplace, Laporte, Morel, Gravillon, Hergault; Le Fee, Abergel, Monconduit, Wissa; Moffi

We say: Nimes 2-2 Lorient

This is a magnificent opportunity for one of Nimes or Lorient to clamber to safety, and both sets of players ought to have their tails up heading into this six-pointer. The hosts have found their feet quickly under Plancque, but a resurgent Lorient cannot be written off despite their humbling at the hands of Lille, so we are struggling to pick a winner here and ultimately expect the two sides to play out a high-scoring draw.

Top 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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