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Nov 22, 2020 at 2pm UK

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

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

Reims will be aiming to stretch their unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to four matches when they play host to Nimes on Sunday following the international break.

In contrast, the visitors have lost their last four in the top flight and currently occupy the relegation playoff spot heading into gameweek 11.

Match preview

Reims are finally beginning to string together a long-overdue set of strong results in the French top flight, with David Guion now able to focus entirely on the league after their Europa League journey ended prematurely in September.

Guion's men picked up their first victory of the season at the eighth attempt against Montpellier, who had two men sent off in a 4-0 defeat, and Reims since triumphed over Strasbourg and played out an enthralling 4-4 draw with Lens before the November international break.

Reims should have come out on the right end of the scoreline in that pulsating eight-goal thriller, with Guion's side 4-2 up heading into injury time in the second half, but Florian Sotoca popped up with a quickfire brace for Lens to deny Reims a third victory in a row.

Guion would no doubt have been hugely disappointed to see his side walk away with just one point from that encounter rather than three, but the Reims manager was once again encouraged by the form of Boulaye Dia, who scored twice in that game to take his tally to eight for the season.

No player in the top flight has chalked up more goals than the Reims frontman so far, with Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe one behind on seven, and Dia will certainly be key to Reims's hopes of returning to winning ways against a lowly Nimes outfit this weekend.

While Reims are performing positively and only looking upwards at the moment, Nimes manager Jerome Arpinon must arrest his side's alarming slump as soon as possible.

Les Crocodiles are one of only two teams in the division to pick up no points from their last four matches - the other being Saint-Etienne - and Nimes have slipped to 18th in the table following that dismal run before the international break.

That losing streak has seen Arpinon's men score a solitary goal and concede 12 more, with Nimes simply brushed aside on their own turf in their most recent outing by Angers, who overcame Les Crocodiles 5-1.

Arpinon has also witnessed his crop fall victim to PSG, Bordeaux and Metz over the last few weeks, but should Nimes pull off an unexpected win here and Lorient lose to Lille, Les Crocodiles would climb out of the bottom three for the time being.

Eight of the last 12 meetings between Reims and Nimes have ended with both sides chalking up a point, with the two teams playing out a goalless stalemate in this fixture last season before Nimes won 2-0 at home.

Reims Ligue 1 form: LDLWWD

Nimes Ligue 1 form: DWLLLL

Team News

Reims centre-back Wout Faes picked up his fifth booking of the season in the draw with Lens, and the 22-year-old will play no part on Sunday.

Dario Maresic should therefore occupy a spot in the heart of defence alongside Yunis Abdelhamid, and Reims are without a recognised left-back once again with Ghislain Konan and Thibault De Smet both injured.

As a result, Thomas Foket is in line for a start on the left-hand side despite scoring an own goal in the eight-goal stalemate with Lens.

Nimes also have a suspension of their own to contend with as Lucas Deaux received his third caution of the season against Angers, and the midfielder's spot is set to be taken by Lamine Fomba.

Karim Aribi lasted just 45 minutes against Angers before ceding his place at the forefront of the Nimes attack, with Moussa Kone eyeing a start after notching up his side's only goal against Angers.

Birger Meling is expected to return for this one but may not be risked from the first whistle, while Renaud Ripart, who has four goals to his name in this fixture, could be given the nod on the right flank.

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Doucore, Abdelhamid, Maresic, Foket; Cafaro, Berisha, Munetsi, Mbuku; Sierhuis, Dia

Nimes possible starting lineup:
Reynet; Burner, Briancon, Landre, Miguel; Cubas, Sarr, Fomba; Ripart, Kone, Eliasson

We say: Reims 3-1 Nimes

Prolific Reims frontman Dia will certainly fancy his chances against a Nimes side who have already shipped 19 goals this season, and given the respective form of the two clubs heading into this bout, we can only see one clear winner. Nimes will be hoping that the international break has done them some good, but Reims should pick up where they left off and march to a convincing triumph here.

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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