MX23RW : Tuesday, November 24 03:42:31| >> :600:212981:212981:
Nov 8, 2020 at 2pm UK at Stade du Moustoir

Abergel (18'), Lauriente (19'), Morel (82')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Bamba (80'), Blas (83')
Louza (32')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Lorient and Nantes, including team news and predicted lineups.

Two sides sitting dangerously close to the relegation zone will meet on Sunday in Ligue 1 as Lorient play host to Nantes at the Stade du Moustoir.

Both teams currently boast eight points at this stage, with Lorient drawing at Dijon and Nantes losing to Paris Saint-Germain last time out.

Match preview

Christophe Pelissier pictured in charge of Amiens in February 2019© Reuters

A clash with a winless Dijon side is just what the doctor ordered for Lorient as they looked to put their recent defeat to Marseille behind them, but Christophe Pelissier's men could not find the back of the net on the day and were ultimately forced to settle for a point against the division's basement side.

Unlike their fellow newly-promoted side Lens, who have stormed into the top half despite a recent coronavirus outbreak, Lorient's return to the pinnacle of French football has been an underwhelming affair for Les Merlus with just two wins to show from nine outings thus far.

Their solitary home victory of the season came against Strasbourg on the opening weekend, with Pelissier witnessing his side triumph just once since then - a 3-1 win at a struggling Reims outfit a few weeks back.

Of course, it is still far too early to be placing bets on potential relegation candidates, but Lorient must turn their fortunes around lest they risk being brought into that conversation, and Pelissier's side have a prime opportunity to do so against a Nantes outfit who have endured an equally woeful start to proceedings.

Nantes manager Christian Gourcuff pictured in December 2019© Reuters

Nantes have the luxury of a game in hand over their opponents after their clash with Lens was suspended due to COVID-19, and Christian Gourcuff would have been thankful for a two-week break before Les Canaris were forced to navigate a daunting clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

The extra week off did not make much of a difference for Nantes, however, with Ander Herrera, Kylian Mbappe and Pablo Sarabia all finding the back of the net as PSG cruised to a 3-0 win over Gourcuff's men last weekend.

Conceding three goals and scoring none against the perennial champions is not the end of the world by any means, but Nantes' misery was compiled with Moses Simon going off injured and his replacement - Abdoul Kader Bamba - seeing his second-half penalty saved by Keylor Navas on a truly forgettable Halloween night for the Canaris faithful.

Nantes will certainly be aware that this weekend's clash with Lorient is the best chance they will get to claim another three points before the end of the month, as Gourcuff's men must take on an in-form Metz and Marseille following the international break.

Les Canaris can feel optimistic about their chances of victory here, as Nantes have come up trumps in their last three meetings with Lorient and are unbeaten in their last eight against Les Merlus - a run stretching all the way back to 2013.

Lorient Ligue 1 form: LDLWLD

Nantes Ligue 1 form: LDLLWL

Team News

Nantes players in a team huddle before the clash with Monaco on September 13, 2020© Reuters

Lorient striker Pierre-Yves Hamel was suspended for the goalless stalemate at Dijon but is back for this one, with one of Terem Moffi or Adrian Grbic potentially at risk of dropping down to the bench.

However, Quentin Boisgard will serve a ban of his own for the visit of Les Canaris, which should see Stephane Diarra start on the right flank, while Vincent Le Goff could also make his return from injury.

Chelsea loanee Trevoh Chalobah was forced to miss out the draw with Dijon with a knee issue, but the 21-year-old's injury is not thought to be serious and he may come back in time for Sunday's showdown.

Nantes have not come out unscathed as several countries feel the effects of a second coronavirus wave, with Fabio, Andrei Girotto and Sebastien Corchia all returning positive tests recently, and the trio's involvement for the trip to Lorient is uncertain.

However, Nicolas Pallois makes a timely return from suspension to occupy his usual spot in defence, allowing Mehdi Abeid to return to midfield and Imran Louza to push further up.

Simon's injury against PSG means he will watch this one from the sidelines, with Marcus Coco expected to switch to the left-hand side as Louza starts on the right.

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Mendes, Laporte, Gravillon, Goff; Diarra, Chalobah, Abergel, Wissa; Hamel, Grbic

Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Appiah, Pallois, Girotto, Traore; Chirivella, Abeid; Louza, Blas, Coco; Kolo Muani

SM words green background

We say: Lorient 1-1 Nantes

Nantes's chances of victory here will certainly hinge on whether or not their defensive trio are given the all-clear to feature at the Stade du Moustoir, but Les Canaris boast a strong record against Lorient regardless. This is a difficult game to call between two sides desperate to create some breathing space between themselves and the dotted line, and we are ultimately expecting both clubs to walk away with a point.

Top betting 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


Who will win Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Lorient and Nantes?

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