MX23RW : Friday, June 18 04:38:05| >> :600:2278860:2278860:
May 16, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade du Moustoir
Wissa (31' pen.), Hergault (74')
Grbic (90+1')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Traore (72')
Kouyate (23'), Bronn (30'), Ambrose (65'), Centonze (84')

Preview: Lorient vs. Metz - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Lorient and Metz, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Lorient will look to take a step towards Ligue 1 survival when they host Metz on Sunday evening.

Les Murlus are currently 17th and one point above the bottom three with two games remaining, while their opponents are hopeful of securing a top-half finish.

Match preview

Lorient manager Christophe Pelissier pictured in January 2021© Reuters

With Dijon already relegated, Lorient are one of an astonishing seven teams who could join them in Ligue 2 next season; just five points separate Reims in 13th and Nantes in 18th. Nimes currently occupy the other automatic relegation spot, while Nantes are set to compete in the playoff as it stands.

It means that if both of those sides lose on Sunday – Nimes host Lyon and Nantes travel to Dijon – Lorient would secure safety with victory at Stade du Moustoir. On the final day, Christophe Pelissier's side travel to Strasbourg, who are currently 16th and only above them on goal difference.

Survival would complete a superb turnaround for the Brittany outfit, who were bottom of the table in mid-January amid a major coronavirus outbreak in the squad.

A 4-1 defeat to Lyon last weekend was just their fifth defeat in 17 matches and followed vital back-to-back wins for only the second time this season against Bordeaux and Angers.

Lorient have also won four of their last five games at Stade du Moustoir, drawing the other, and have the sixth best home record in Ligue 1 in 2020/21.

Despite their position in the table, Les Murlus have scored five more goals than Metz this season. However, only Dijon have conceded more in the French top flight.

Metz forward Ibrahima Niane in action with Marseille's Hiroki Sakai on December 14, 2019© Reuters

While Lorient were in deep trouble only a few months ago, Metz were making a surprising push for European football and come the end of February they occupied fifth position – enough to earn a spot in the Europa Conference League playoff round.

However those hopes have swiftly faded, owing to a run of just one win in nine games since the beginning of March; last weekend they were embarrassingly beaten 3-0 by Nimes.

Nonetheless, Les Grenats are currently 10th and still on track for their highest league finish for two decades; they could still finish as high as eighth or as low as 14th.

Frederic Antonetti's side have actually picked up more away points this season than they have at home and have the seventh-best record on the road in Ligue 1; only four clubs have conceded fewer goals on their travels.

Metz were 3-1 winners against Lorient in this season's reverse fixture in October, as they came from behind thanks to a hattrick from Ibrahima Niane.

Lorient Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Metz Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

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

Team News

Frederic Antonetti pictured in charge of Lille in April 2016© Reuters

Lorient will be able to call upon Julien Laporte again after the centre-back was suspended for the trip to Lyon last weekend.

Quentin Boisgard and Jonathan Delaplace are still sidelined owing to hand and calf injuries respectively, but there is hope that the pair may be able to play a part in the final game of the campaign against Strasbourg.

After a run of six goals in three games, Terem Moffi has drawn a blank in his last two appearances so will be keen to return to scoring form when it matters most for Lorient.

Metz have gone with a four-man defensive line in the last two weeks but after shipping three goals to Nimes, Antonetti may decide to switch to their most-used back three and bring Kiki Kouyate back in.

Niane is yet to complete 90 minutes since coming back from an ACL injury last month, and it is unlikely that too much pressure will be put on the striker with Metz having little to play for.

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Hergault, Chalobah, Laporte, Morel, Goff; Fee, Lemoine, Abergel; Moffi, Wissa

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Kouyate, Bronn, Boye; Centonze, Maiga, Sarr, Udol; Boulaya, Niane, Vagner

SM words green background

We say: Lorient 2-1 Metz

Lorient's revival in the second half of the season has been remarkable and defeat to Lyon last weekend is unlikely to deter them on their mission for safety. We think that they could secure a huge three points here against a Metz side who look to already be on their summer holidays.

Top tip

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