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Dec 4, 2020 at 8pm UK

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

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

Marseille will be aiming to stretch their winning run in Ligue 1 to five matches when they pay a visit to the Stade des Costieres to take on Nimes this Friday.

In contrast, the hosts are enduring a woeful spell of form and currently sit 16th in the table ahead of their showdown with Les Olympiens.

Match preview

Nimes finally managed to halt their losing streak in the French top flight with a narrow win over fellow strugglers Reims two weeks ago, but Jerome Arpinon's men were handed a harsh dose of reality during their trip to a high-flying Monaco side.

Goals from Sofiane Diop, Gelson Martins and Kevin Volland saw Les Monegasques cruise to a 3-0 victory over Nimes, who also had Lucas Deaux sent off in the second half last weekend on a truly miserable afternoon for this week's hosts.

Nimes' defeat at Monaco was their fifth loss in six top-flight games - a run of form which has seen them slowly slip down the table despite a relatively solid start to the season - and Arpinon will certainly not be confident of turning his side's fortunes around against Ligue 1 powerhouses Marseille this week.

However, Les Crocodiles have a less daunting fixture to come after the visit of Marseille as Nimes will face fellow strugglers Lorient in gameweek 14, but Arpinon has witnessed his side notch up a measly four goals in their last nine games - something which must be addressed as the battle to avoid the drop hots up.

Andre Villas-Boas would have breathed a huge sigh of relief after Marseille finally got off the mark in Europe on Tuesday, with Les Monegasques scoring their first goals of the tournament in a 2-1 win over Olympiacos in Group C.

While Les Olympiens cannot finish in the top two, a brace of penalties from Dimitri Payet ensured that the fight for third and a spot in the Europa League is not done and dusted just yet, with Marsielle and Olympiacos both on three points ahead of the final round of group fixtures.

However, Marseille's sixth game of the group stage is the one that the Olympiens faithful have been dreading the most - away to Manchester City - but a resounding victory over Nimes would certainly give Villas-Boas reason for cautious optimism ahead of their trip to the Etihad.

As far as Marseille's domestic fortunes are concerned, Villas-Boas's men have taken 12 points from their last four games - including a 3-1 win over Nantes last Saturday - but Les Olympiens currently find themselves outside of the top five given Lyon, Monaco and Montpellier's equally strong spell of form.

Nimes triumphed over Marseille as recently as the 2018-19 campaign, but Les Olympiens have won 10 of their last 11 encounters with Friday's hosts, including a 3-2 victory on Nimes' turf last season.

Nimes Ligue 1 form: LLLLWL

Marseille Ligue 1 form: DDWWWW
Marseille form (all competitions): LLWLWW

Team News

Deaux had only just returned from a suspension for the trip to Monaco, and the 31-year-old will make an immediate return to the sidelines after his sending-off last Sunday.

On a more positive note, Nimes may have captain Anthony Briancon back for this fixture - a timely return with fellow centre-back Pablo Martinez expected to miss out.

However, Birger Meling is not ready for a return to action just yet, while Kevin Denkey is a doubt after suffering a head injury on the stroke of half time at Monaco.

Marseille have nowhere near as many concerns on the injury front, with Nemanja Radonjic the only confirmed absentee as he nurses a thigh problem.

Leonardo Balerdi was suspended for the win over Olympiacos but is back in the fold for this one, while Morgan Sanson recovered from illness in time to feature as a substitute on Tuesday and he could start here.

Dario Benedetto notched up all three of Marseille's goals at the Stade des Costieres last season, but the Argentine lasted just 45 minutes against Olympiacos and could find his spot under threat here.

Nimes possible starting lineup:
Reynet; Burner, Briancon, Landre, Paquiez; Ahlinvi, Cubas, Fomba; Ferhat, Kone, Eliasson

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Mandanda; Sakai, Gonzalez, Balerdi, Amavi; Gueye, Rongier, Sanson; Thauvin, Benedetto, Payet

We say: Nimes 0-2 Marseille

Marseille are sure to be feeling the effects of Tuesday's hard-fought win, but the visitors will be delighted to finally get off the mark in the Champions League and should carry that momentum forward here. Nimes have several defensive absentees and have produced a worrying set of results in recent weeks, so we are backing Marseille to march to their fifth top-flight victory on the bounce this week.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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