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Feb 24, 2021 at 6pm UK
NimesNimes
1-0
LorientLorient
Ripart (88' pen.)
Guessoum (65'), Reynet (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Moffi (39'), Boisgard (61'), Grbic (90+3'), Laporte (90+4')
/esi/1339/6_G_1_115741/index.html?art_id=436254&game_id=115741&sport_id=1&ESI

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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Ligue 1 Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Lille27178247173059
2Paris Saint-GermainPSG27183661174457
3Lyon27168355253056
4MonacoMonaco27174656371955
5Metz2711883326741
6Lens2711883937241
7Marseille2610973430439
8Montpellier HSCMontpellier27116104346-339
9Rennes2610883330338
10Angers27106113242-1036
11Bordeaux2796122833-533
12Nice2795133339-632
13Reims27710103234-231
14Brest2794143949-1031
15StrasbourgStrasbourg2786133541-630
16Saint-EtienneSt Etienne2779112739-1230
17Lorient2775153351-1826
18Nimes2774162652-2625
19NantesNantes27412112742-1524
20Dijon2729161844-2615
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4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
5Chelsea26128641251644
6Liverpool26127747341343
7Everton2412483733440
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa24123938261239
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2697102733-634
13Crystal Palace2696112943-1433
14Southampton2586113143-1230
15Burnley2677121834-1628
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham26411112132-1123
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2632211543-2811
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