MX23RW : Thursday, January 28 03:47:26| >> :600:396230:396230:
Nov 29, 2020 at 2pm UK at Stade Saint-Symphorien

Oukidja (32'), Centonze (66')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Cardona (12'), Boye (64' og.)
Cardona (54')

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

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

Metz host Brest in Ligue 1 on Sunday with the two sides separated by a solitary point in the table after the opening 11 matches.

Metz were held to a 1-1 draw at Nantes last weekend, with Brest thrashing Saint-Etienne 4-1.

Match preview

Metz goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Metz have performed surprisingly well since losing Ibrahima Niane to a serious knee injury in early October, picking up nine points - and remaining unbeaten in the process - from the five games their top goalscorer has missed.

What makes their recent record all the more remarkable is that only Niane, who scored six goals in his six matches prior to sustaining a cruciate ligament rupture in training, has scored more than one league goal for Frederic Antonetti's side this season.

Clearly, then, Antonetti is building a side based on very solid foundations, having not conceded more than once in any match this season. Metz showed excellent resolve by coming from behind at Nantes last weekend after Randal Kolo's opener was cancelled out by Aaron Leya Iseka's penalty on the stroke of half time.

Their defence will certainly need to be firing on all cylinders to shut out a Brest side whose tally of 19 goals is only bettered by four sides in the league.

Brest coach Olivier Dall'Oglio pictured in January 2020© Reuters

Indeed, while Brest are enjoying themselves offensively so far this season, Metz may find chances easier to come by than most matches considering no side has conceded more goals than their forthcoming opponents.

That did not matter a jot last weekend, however, with Brest tearing former Leicester City and Southampton manager Claude Puel's Saint-Etienne side apart in a comfortable 4-1 victory.

All five goals came in a frantic first half, with Franck Honorat and Jean-Kevin Duverne giving the hosts a commanding early lead before Mahdi Camara gave the visitors hope.

However, Irvin Cardona and former Huddersfield Town striker Steve Mounie took the game away from Puel's side, with Brest moving seven points clear of the relegation zone in the process. A win at Metz on Sunday could move Olivier Dall'Aglio's side into a top half position, which illustrates rapid progress for a club who have only spent one of the previous seven campaigns in France's top flight.

Metz Ligue 1 form: WDWWDD

Brest Ligue 1 form: WLLLWW

Team News

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

Niane is likely to remain out for several months with his ACL injury, with Leya deputising in attack in recent weeks.

Antonetti is also without Kevin N'Doram after the midfielder underwent Achilles tendon surgery, with Vagner and Manuel Cabit also ruled out of the test against Brest.

Habib Maiga will need to be careful not to pick up a booking, with the utility man one away from picking up his fifth of the season and consequently a one-match ban.

Dall'Aglio also has a cruciate ligament victim in the shape of defender Denys Bain, but otherwise appears to have a clean bill of health to choose from.

The 56-year-old is unlikely to make any changes to the side which beat St Etienne so convincingly last weekend.

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Maiga, Bronn, Boye, Udol; Angban, Pajot, Tchimbembe; Gueye, Leya, Boulaya

Brest possible starting lineup:
Larsonneur; Pierre-Gabriel, Duverne, Brassier, Perraud; Honorat, Belkebla, Lasne, Faivre; Cardona, Mounie

SM words green background

We say: Metz 1-0 Brest

We can envisage a close encounter between two improving sides, with one of the league's best defences coming up against one of the best attacks.

Metz have a strong home record, though, with Brest struggling on the road, so we can see the hosts edging it in with another strong defensive display.

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


How you voted: Metz vs Brest

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