MX23RW : Monday, May 23 01:46:23| >> :600:178222:178222:
[monks data]
Aug 14, 2021 at 4pm UK at Stade Pierre-Mauroy
0 - 4

Celik (35'), Andre (45+2'), Yazici (56')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Dolberg (1', 64'), Boudaoui (5'), Gouiri (45+3' pen.)
Atal (21')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Ligue 1 clash between Lille and Nice, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Christophe Galtier returns to face his former team on Saturday, as Nice take on Lille at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in the second game of the new Ligue 1 season.

Galtier's managerial heroics last season led Les Dogues to a first Ligue 1 title in a decade, but he will now head to the Lille away dressing room as he aims to move Nice up the table.

Match preview

Lille head coach Christophe Galtier pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Both Lille and Nice began their campaigns with a draw last weekend and, in doing so, extended their opening-match Ligue 1 unbeaten streaks to five and three, respectively.

Lille's new manager Jocelyn Gourvennec endured a stressful first league game in charge as his team salvaged a draw in the dying seconds against an unfancied Metz side.

The reigning champions found themselves 3-1 down against 10-man Metz with just ten minutes remaining, but Jonathan Ikone slotted home to provide some hope and finally a 97th minute own goal spared Lille's blushes and secured a point.

Gourvennec is considered an underwhelming appointment by some of the Lille fanbase - the 49-year-old having been out of work since parting ways with Guingamp in May 2019 as they suffered relegation.

Whilst there was immediate silverware at his new club, thanks to a win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Trophee des Champions, Gourvennec will be looking for a more convincing result at home this weekend to help maintain last year's momentum and perhaps win over some doubters.

Jocelyn Gourvennec pictured in September 2017© Reuters

Galtier, on the other hand, has little need to win over his new side's supporters, with his recruitment coming as something of a coup for Nice.

The 54-year-old joins having been named Ligue 1 Manager of the Year for a third time as he guided Lille to an unlikely title, dethroning the superstars over at the Parc des Princes.

His first game in charge proved to be a little underwhelming as Nice played out an uneventful 0-0 draw with Reims and hinted that goals may be an issue for Les Aiglons, much as they were last season.

Galtier will need time to shape his new project, though, and will be given plenty as owners INEOS look to build Nice into Champions League regulars and claim a first Ligue 1 trophy since 1959.

Taking down the current champions would be a great statement of intent and would also put an end to an unpleasant run for the team from the Cote d'Azur, who are winless in their previous four league matches against Lille and have been outscored 8-2 in that period.

The teams' respective home and away records last season certainly favour Lille - the champions recording 10 wins and seven draws at home as ninth-placed Nice suffered seven losses in their contests on the road.

Lille Ligue 1 form:
  • D

Lille form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Nice Ligue 1 form:
  • D

Nice form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D

Team News

Nice teammates Walter Benitez and Kasper Dolberg pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Lille have no injuries coming into the game, but remain without the suspended Tiago Djalo who earned a two-match ban for his skirmish with teammate Xeka during pre-season.

The latter was deemed less culpable and will now likely return to the midfield after having served his one-match suspension, with Renato Sanches potentially the one to make way as he continues his recovery from a thigh issue.

Gourvennec has retained Lille's highly successful 4-4-2 formation from last year in his first few games at the club and is not expected to mix things up just yet.

Unlike their opponents, Nice do have a fairly extensive injury list, with their midfield currently missing Morgan Schneiderlin due to a knee injury and Alexis Claude-Maurice after his fibula fracture in May.

Kasper Dolberg made an appearance from the bench against Reims, as he is eased back into the team following his spectacular performance for Denmark at Euro 2020, but is expected to return to the starting XI this weekend as part of another 4-4-2 setup.

Lille possible starting lineup:
Jardim; Celik, Fonte, Botman, Reinildo; Xeka, Andre, Yazici, Bamba; Ikone, Yilmaz

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Atal, Todibo, Dante, Bard; Da Cunha, Thuram, Rosario, Kluivert; Dolberg, Gouiri

SM words green background

We say: Lille 1-1 Nice

Both sides have plenty of quality but Lille probably have the slightly stronger squad on paper, particularly with the return of Xeka.

Galtier knows his old side very well, however, and showed in the opening game that his Nice side will be hard to break down, so a draw seems a likely result.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli pictured in March 2021
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