MX23RW : Saturday, September 18 10:59:11| >> :600:98206:98206:
Aug 21, 2020 at 6pm UK at Stade Matmut-Atlantique

de Preville (59'), Otavio (87')
Zerkane (20')

Traore (45'), Chirivella (89'), Ndilu (90+1')

Preview: Bordeaux vs. Nantes - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Ligue 1 opener between Bordeaux and Nantes, including team news and predicted lineups.

The 2020-21 Ligue 1 season kicks off on Friday evening as Bordeaux welcome Nantes to the Stade Matmut Atlantique.

Jean-Louis Gasset will be taking charge of his first league game for the home side, who finished 12th last season, while Nantes finished one place below in 13th following the curtailment of the 2019-20 campaign.

Match preview

Jean-Louis Gasset as Saint-Etienne manager in January 2019.© Reuters

The onus is now on Bordeaux and Nantes to deliver the perfect start to the new French football season, with the proposed opening-day clash between Marseille and St Etienne postponed due to coronavirus cases in the Marseille camp.

As Gasset prepares for his first competitive game in charge of Bordeaux following Paulo Sousa's recent departure, the Frenchman will be aspire to lead Bordeaux back to the top half of the table following a disappointing couple of seasons.

With the 2019-20 season decided on a points-per-game basis amid the ongoing viral outbreak, Bordeaux finished above their opening-day opponents Nantes on head-to-head results, with both teams accruing 37 points from 28 matches.

However, Bordeaux are still searching for their first league win of 2020 on home soil, as then-manager Sousa witnessed his side draw their final three games on familiar territory before the season was abruptly ended.

Bordeaux suffered mixed fortunes in their pre-season preparations for the new campaign - Les Girondins enjoyed a 4-0 victory over Reims in their most recent encounter, a result which followed draws with Angers and Toulouse as well as a 4-2 loss to St Etienne.

Nantes manager Christian Gourcuff pictured in December 2019© Reuters

Meanwhile, the ultimate aim for Nantes will also be a top-half finish as they prepare for their eighth consecutive season of Ligue 1 football.

As is the case with Bordeaux, Christian Gourcuff's men suffered a dismal end to the 2019-20 campaign as they picked up just one win from their final eight matches in the top flight.

Nantes saw their pre-season plans devastated by coronavirus - with as many as seven of their players reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 - but Les Canaris still managed to enjoy friendly victories over Stade Nyonnais and Le Havre either side of a draw with Anderlecht.

Bordeaux took the spoils in both fixtures with Nantes last season, with a 2-0 home victory followed up by a 1-0 triumph at the Stade de la Beaujoire in January.

Team News

Bordeaux forward Josh Maja pictured against Marseille in December 2019© Reuters

Bordeaux will have to make do without Brazilian centre-back Pablo, who is nursing a cruciate ligament injury and is not expected to return until October.

The defensive pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Mexer is therefore expected to be preferred by Gasset for the opening-day clash, while Yacine Adli is struggling with a thigh problem and may be forced to miss this one out.

Jimmy Briand and Josh Maja - both of whom registered eight Ligue 1 goal contributions apiece last term - will be battling it out to spearhead the Bordeaux attack.

Meanwhile, Nantes will be without captain Abdoulaye Toure, Mehdi Abeid and Ludovic Blas following positive coronavirus tests.

Marcus Coco is recovering from a cruciate ligament rupture and will also be unavailable here, but former Liverpool starlet Pedro Chirivella could be handed his debut in the middle of the park.

Bordeaux possible starting lineup:
Costil; Sabaly, Koscielny, Mexer, Benito; Otavio, Basic; Kalu, Oudin, De Preville; Maja

Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Fabio, Pallois, Girotto, Traore; Chirivella, Moutoussamy; Bamba, Louza, Simon; Coulibaly

SM words green background

We say: Bordeaux 1-1 Nantes

The Ligue 1 opener has all the makings of a tightly-fought affair between two sides who could barely be separated at the end of last season. Nantes have seen their squad ravaged by coronavirus in recent weeks, but we expect the away side to battle for a point on Friday.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a draw 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.Draw/Away:data

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Josh Maja pictured ahead of Bordeaux's Ligue 1 clash with Paris Saint-Germain in February 2019.
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