Dec 20, 2020 at 2pm UK
St EtienneSaint-Etienne
Moukoudi (8'), Nordin (63')
Hamouma (26'), Neyou (82')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Ahlinvi (14'), Ripart (56' pen.)
Eliasson (30'), Reynet (35'), Sarr (67')

Preview: Saint-Etienne vs. Nimes - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Saint-Etienne vs. Nimes - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:427002: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Saint-Etienne and Nimes, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Saint-Etienne will be aiming to stretch their unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to five matches when they welcome Nimes to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts picked up a long-overdue win at Bordeaux in midweek, whereas Nimes' losing run continued with a 2-0 defeat to Nice on Wednesday evening.

Match preview

Claude Puel has finally managed to halt Saint-Etienne's alarming slump in the top flight, with Les Verts now unbeaten in their last four after a seven-game losing run between September and November.

Before making the trip to Bordeaux, Puel's side had not come out on top in a league match since a 2-0 triumph at Marseille in the third weekend of the season - a run of 11 games without a win for the strugglers.

However, goals from Arnaud Nordin and Yvan Neyou either side of a Hwang Ui-jo equaliser propelled Saint-Etienne to just their fourth win of the 2020-21 campaign against a normally-resilient Bordeaux outfit, and the pressure on Puel's shoulders has certainly been eased in recent weeks.

Saint-Etienne rose to 14th in the table with that victory at the Matmut Atlantique, with five points now separating Les Verts from the drop zone heading into gameweek 16, although it is unlikely that Puel's side will be able to rise any higher with a win this weekend.

Puel will now be desperate to build on that victory at Bordeaux and secure Saint-Etienne's first home win since September 12, with Les Verts currently enduring a five-game winless streak on their own turf.

While Saint-Etienne's form is certainly cause for optimism, Nimes are becoming one of the favourites for the drop following a torrid few weeks.

Nice manager Adrian Ursea enjoyed his first victory in the Aiglons dugout in midweek with a comfortable 2-0 win on Nimes' turf, with Dan Ndoye and Alexis Claude-Maurice both coming off the bench to net late goals in that one.

Jerome Arpinon's side have now tasted defeat in eight of their last nine matches in Ligue 1 and are one of only two teams to have lost 10 games this season - the other being Lorient.

Furthermore, 29 goals shipped is the most in the league after 15 matches, but Arpinon will certainly welcome next week's visit of basement side Dijon as Nimes look to climb out of the bottom three, although no other team in the division has endured such a woeful losing run recently.

Saint-Etienne have come out on top in the last four meetings between the two clubs in all competitions, with Nimes' most recent league victory against Les Verts coming in the 1997-98 Ligue 2 campaign.

Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form: LLDDDW

Nimes Ligue 1 form: LWLLLL

Team News

Saint-Etienne have no fresh injury concerns from their win over Bordeaux, with the duo of Gabriel Silva and Yvann Macon their only two long-term absentees.

Charles Abi was not involved at the Matmut Atlantique, but Puel confirmed that the striker's absence was a tactical decision, with Abi yet to find the back of the net this season.

Panagiotis Retsos and Kevin Monnet-Paquet are working their way back from injuries but are not expected to be fit in time for this showdown.

Meanwhile, Nimes' infirmary is nearing full capacity after welcoming Loick Landre on Wednesday, with the defender lasting just seven minutes against Nice before sustaining a thigh injury.

The 28-year-old joins fellow centre-backs Anthony Briancon and Pablo Martinez in the treatment room, while midfield trio Yassine Benrahou, Andres Cubas and Lucas Deaux are all injured too.

Kelyan Guessoum should replace Landre in the Crocodiles' defence, while Moussa Kone, Lamine Fomba and Renaud Ripart are all vying for recalls to Arpinon's starting lineup.

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Moulin; Debuchy, Moukoudi, Kolodziejczak, Trauco; Neyou, Youssouf; Nordin, Aouchiche, Bouanga; Hamouma

Nimes possible starting lineup:
Reynet, Burner, Guessoum, Miguel, Paquiez; Sarr, Fomba, Ahlinvi; Ripart, Kone, Eliasson

We say: Saint-Etienne 2-0 Nimes

Saint-Etienne fans have finally had some festive cheer with their side's unbeaten streak, but Nimes have given their supporters very little to get excited about amid an abysmal run of form. Puel will view this game as an excellent opportunity to end Les Verts' winless run on their own patch, and the confidence in the hosts' camp ought to be sky high right now, so we can only back a Saint-Etienne win this weekend.

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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1Paris Saint-GermainPSG77002071321
10Montpellier HSCMontpellier7232151329
19Saint-EtienneSt Etienne7034714-73
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