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Aug 7, 2022 at 12pm UK at Stadium Municipal
1 - 1
Dallinga (20')
Keben (86')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Ramsey (78')
Rosario (63'), Dante (65')

Preview: Toulouse vs. Nice - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Toulouse and Nice both begin their respective new adventures in Ligue 1 in Sunday's season opener at the Stadium Municipal.

The hosts fended off competition from the other 19 sides in Ligue 2 to finish at the top of the pile in 2021-22, while Les Aiglons ended up in fifth in the top flight.

Match preview

While also witnessing his former employers Nottingham Forest make their return to the Premier League last term, Toulouse head coach Philippe Montanier ended his side's stint in the second tier of French football, as Les Violets collected 79 points from 38 matches to storm to the title.

Toulouse finished four points clear of fellow promoted outfit Ajaccio to return to the big time after a two-year absence, but not one Violets supporter needs reminding of their disastrous 2019-20 Ligue 1 campaign, in which they only accumulated 13 points before the season was curtailed.

The dreaded away goals rule prevented Toulouse from earning promotion to Ligue 1 via the playoffs last year, as Nantes survived by the skin of their teeth, but Montanier's side have already got the better of top-flight opposition this summer.

Indeed, this weekend's hosts impressively overcame Nimes, Troyes, Montpellier HSC and Real Sociedad in their pre-season friendlies, as well as playing out a 3-3 draw with Osasuna, but their final exhibition game against Clermont ended in a 1-0 defeat last weekend.

Christophe Galtier to Nice did not exactly turn out to be the love story that was hinted at during the opening months of the 2021-22 season, as the title-winning Frenchman had Les Aiglons firmly in contention for a podium finish and Champions League place.

However, winning just six of their last 13 matches ultimately allowed Rennes and Monaco to demote Nice to fifth and force them to settle for Europa Conference League football, and they will meet either Maccabi Tel Aviv or Aris in the upcoming playoff round.

Nice chiefs openly invited Paris Saint-Germain to make their move for Galtier, and they needed no hesitation to do so, which signalled the start of Lucien Favre's second spell at the Allianz Riviera as he seeks to replicate his success from his first stint in charge.

The new manager bounce was not in effect in pre-season, though, as Les Aiglons played out draws with Cercle Brugge and Roma either side of defeats to Benfica and Fulham, but they did edge past Torino by a goal to nil last time out.

Nice enjoyed a pair of 3-0 and 2-0 wins against Toulouse during the COVID-disrupted 2019-20 Ligue 1 season after previously going five games without a win versus Les Violets, and a wealth of eye-catching new arrivals are ready to make their mark in black and red.

Toulouse pre-season form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Nice pre-season form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Team News

Unlike several of their top-flight counterparts, Toulouse have no suspensions carrying over from the 2021-22 season, and Montanier should have all of his troops at his disposal this weekend.

Two Dutch attackers in Zakaria Aboukhlal and Thijs Dallinga have signed on to add more firepower in the Violets ranks, but Englishman Rhys Healey will hope to lead the line after netting 20 goals in Ligue 2 last term.

Healey and Branco van den Boomen have both been linked with moves away from the Stadium Municipal in recent weeks, but the latter should continue to pull the strings from the engine room.

In contrast, Nice do have a player on the naughty step in the forms of defender Flavius Daniliuc, who will serve a one-game ban for an accumulation of bookings, and Justin Kluivert would have also been suspended for this game had he not already returned to Roma.

Dante and Jean-Clair Todibo should therefore partner up at the back in front of Marcin Bulka, as Kasper Schmeichel takes his place on the bench after his recent arrival from Leicester City to replace Walter Benitez.

Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Beka Beka may not be considered for starts just yet either, but there could be a revival for Alexis Claude-Maurice as Favre switches to a 4-3-3 formation from Galtier's preferred 4-4-2.

Toulouse possible starting lineup:
Dupe; Desler, Rouault, Nicolaisen, Sylla; Van den Boomen, Spierings, Dejaegere; N'Goumou, Healey, Ratao

Nice possible starting lineup:
Bulka; Atal, Todibo, Dante, Bard; Thuram, Rosario, Claude-Maurice; Stengs, Delort, Gouiri

We say: Toulouse 0-1 Nice

Whether Nice's backline can remain as steadfast as they did under Galtier this season remains to be seen, and Favre has hardly enjoyed a confidence-boosting set of results in pre-season.

Toulouse's summer successes against top-level opposition ought to give the home crowd hope that an opening-day shock could be on the cards, but the attacking prowess of Amine Gouiri and Andy Delort can propel Nice to their first three points of the season.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 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.Over 2.5:data

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