MX23RW : Saturday, July 24 18:14:44| >> :600:521309:521309:
Jan 6, 2021 at 6pm UK at Stade Saint-Symphorien

Leya Iseka (39')

Adli (20'), Pablo (26')

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

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

Metz host Bordeaux in Ligue 1 on Wednesday with the visitors able to leapfrog their opponents in the table with a victory.

Neither side have scored 20 goals in the league yet this season, so it could be a cagey encounter.

Match preview

Metz goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Indeed, Metz's goals have dried up since the long-term injury to top goalscorer Ibrahima Niane in early October, but a watertight defence has ensured they have remained in the top half and comfortably clear of any relegation concerns.

Frederic Antonetti's side were 15th in their first season back in France's top flight at the time French football was curtailed due to COVID-19 last season, so any improvement on that position would have to be considered a respectable achievement for a club which has flickered between Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 in recent seasons.

In the absence of Niane, more will be expected of forwards Opa Nguette and Farid Boulaya, who have both registered three league goals this season. Aaron Leya Iseka also came into the side prior to the winter break, scoring two goals in three starts.

Should Antonetti continue to keep things tight at the back, though, Metz can be assured of another season in Ligue 1 given that they are 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

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

Bordeaux, meanwhile, are looking to return to the top half of the table having dropped down the French pecking order in recent seasons.

The six-time Ligue 1 champions, who won the title as recently as 2009, look to be heading for a third successive bottom-half finish having finished in the top half in 12 of the 13 seasons prior to that.

Jean-Louis Gasset is the man in charge tasked with returning former glories to Les Girondins, with his side similar to Metz in many ways this season in terms of struggling for creativity but remaining solid at the back.

Indeed, Metz are one of only five sides who have conceded fewer goals than Gasset's team this season, but only the three sides in the relegation zone have scored fewer. The likes of Hatem Ben Arfa and Josh Maja must come to the party if Bordeaux are to improve their fortunes.

Metz Ligue 1 form: LLDWWL

Bordeaux Ligue 1 form: DWLLWL

Team News

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

Metz are without long-term absentees Niane and Manuel Cabit for the visit of Bordeaux, with Nguette, Kevin N'Doram, Matthieu Udol and Vincent Pajot all injury doubts.

Fabien Centonze and Victorien Angban are both at risk of a one-match suspension, with one more yellow card triggering a ban.

Bordeaux, meanwhile, are likely to be without Nicolas De Preville, Samuel Kalu and former Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny due to injury.

Central defender Pablo is one yellow card away from missing a match through suspension.

Metz possible starting lineup:
Caillard; Centonze, Bronn, Kouyate, Boye; Gueye, Angban, Fofana, Yade; Boulaya; Leya

Bordeaux possible starting lineup:
Costil; Sabaly, Baysse, Pablo, Benito; Basic, Adli; Zerkane, Ben Arfa, Oudin; Hwang

SM words green background

We say: Metz 1-1 Bordeaux

With both sides better defensively than they are offensively, we can envisage a cagey encounter between two defensive sides, with the performance of Ben Arfa crucial in terms of lighting up the game.

A low scoring draw would not be a surprise, with both sides content to avoid defeat as they look for a respectable mid-table finish this season.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win 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.Home/Away:data

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Sunday's key events

· Wave conditions permitting, surfing will make its Olympic debut (11pm-8.20am)

· Another debutant sport at this Olympics, most eyes will be on American Nyjah Huston in the men's street contest as he looks to add Olympic gold to his four world titles and 12 X-Games golds. (12.30am-5am)

· History beckons for Jade Jones as she looks to become a three-time Olympic champion - something never done before in the sport prior to these Games (2am-1.45pm)
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· The first swimming medals of the Games will be dished out, with home favourite Daiya Seto going for gold in the men's 400m individual medley (2.30am-4.20am)

· Lizzie Deignan is among the Team GB team looking for success in the women's road race (5am-9.30am)

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> Today's schedule in full
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