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Lorient logo
Ligue 1 | Gameweek 13
Nov 26, 2023 at 2pm UK
Stade Yves Allainmat - Le Moustoir
Metz logo

2 - 3

Faivre (7'), Junior Kroupi (22')
Yongwa (48'), Doucoure (57')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Sabaly (1'), Traore (65'), Jallow (83' pen.)
Udol (45')

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.

Two teams separated by just two points in the tight Ligue 1 standings prepare for battle at the Stade du Moustoir on Sunday afternoon, as Lorient meet newly-promoted Metz.

Les Merlus went down 1-0 to relegation rivals Clermont prior to the international break, while their visitors saw off Nantes 3-1 to solidify their mid-table position.

Match preview

Lorient's Terem Moffi celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on November 6, 2022© Reuters

A two-week reset certainly came at the right time for a shot-shy Lorient crop, who had already failed to score in back-to-back matches versus Reims and Lens before a trip to Clermont, one of only two sides to have performed worse than them in the Ligue 1 campaign thus far.

However, the magic spell to lift their goalscoring curse still eluded Lorient at the Stade Gabriel-Montpied, where Formose Mendy's inexplicable foul on Neto Borges allowed Shamar Nicholson to crash home the only goal of the contest from the penalty spot in the 69th minute.

Winless in three games, scoreless in three games and only gleaning one point from their last three games - albeit one from a respectable goalless draw with Champions League-competing Lens - Regis Le Bris's men are in a tricky predicament in 16th place in the table, which would force them to fight for their top-flight status in the relegation/promotion playoff.

Furthermore, Clermont's victory in their basement battle two weekends ago means that Les Lanciers have just a two-point disadvantage to make up, but such is the closely-contested nature of the table that Lorient are within touching distance of Nantes in ninth place.

While a tally of 11 points is far from spectacular, Lorient have accrued nine of them at the Stade du Moustoir, where their only loss in their last seven matches came at the hands of Montpellier HSC; Nice, Monaco, Rennes and Lens are among the teams to have fallen short at Les Merlus' headquarters in that sequence.

Metz players celebrate a goal on September 17, 2023© Reuters

Through a thick cloud of smoke, Metz's Kevin Van Den Kerkhof needed just three minutes to propel Les Grenats into the ascendancy against Nantes, although their lead was soon wiped out as Moses Simon's flick from Nicolas Pallois's delivery deceived Alexandre Oukidja.

However, a sumptuous outside-of-the-foot pass from Albie Jallow - channelling his inner Luka Modric - set Simon Elisor away to restore Metz's lead before the break, and substitute Joel Osoro put the final nail in the Canaris' coffin in the dying embers, only one minute after his introduction off the bench.

By seeing off last year's Coupe de France runners-up, Metz brought an end to their disheartening six-game winless streak in the top flight to remain in the safety of mid-table, currently occupying 11th place with an unassailable four-point lead over Clermont in the drop zone.

That cushion is far from comfortable for Laszlo Boloni's team, but history favours Les Grenats, who have never been relegated from Ligue 1 after amassing at least 13 points from their opening 12 fixtures, and two of their three wins so far this term have come on the road.

Dango Ouattara - who is now on the books at Bournemouth - was the injury-time hero when Lorient saw off Metz 1-0 in their most recent showdown in April 2022, which marked a fifth win from their last six home meetings with Les Grenats for the hosts, who have not been beaten by Les Grenats in front of their own fans since the 2007-08 Coupe de France.

Lorient Ligue 1 form:

Metz Ligue 1 form:

Team News

Benjamin Mendy arrives at Chester Crown Court on July 14, 2023© Reuters

Lorient left-back Benjamin Mendy made international headlines again over the past week, as Premier League champions Manchester City are being sued by the Frenchman over unpaid wages while he was suspended by the club amid prior rape and attempted rape allegations, which he was eventually acquitted of.

Mendy is one of several Merlus players working their way back from injuries, but the defender is on the verge of recovering from a thigh issue, while ex-Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko has also trained normally after sitting out the Clermont loss due to an identical problem.

However, Jean-Victor Makengo (calf), Igor Silva (fitness), Aiyegun Tosin (thigh), Ayman Kari (ankle), Loris Mouyokolo (groin), Dembo Sylla (foot), Bamba Dieng (groin) and Quentin Boisgard (foot) are in the care of the medical team.

Defensive concerns are not limited to Les Merlus, as Metz centre-back Christophe Herelle was forced off in the second half of their win over Nantes due to hamstring tightness, so Fali Cande ought to look forward to a start at the back.

Cheikh Sabaly (groin), Oscar Estupinan (hamstring), Habib Maiga (calf) and Aboubacar Lo (unspecified) are keeping Herelle company in the treatment room, but none of the quartet should be sidelined for longer than another couple of weeks.

While most of their Canaris starters will be retained, Asoro's contribution off the bench against Nantes could put him into the thinking of Boloni, who could sacrifice 19-year-old Papa Amadou Diallo.

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Mvogo; Toure, Laporte, Talbi; Kalulu, Makengo, Abergel, Yongwa; Faivre, Ponceau; Kroupi

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Colin, Cande, Traore; Van Den Kerkhof, Jacques, Camara, Udol; Asoro, Elisor, Jallow

SM words green background

We say: Lorient 1-1 Metz

Metz may have entered the international break with the wind in their sails, but Lorient arguably benefitted more from the fortnight's reset, especially with a couple of names exiting their packed treatment room.

Les Merlus are seldom outclassed on their own turf as well, so we can envisage Le Bris's team ending their goalless streak to take a point off of their newly-promoted foes on Sunday.

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

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 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.Under 2.5:data

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