MX23RW : Wednesday, February 24 20:08:29| >> :60:997:997:
Jan 24, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stade Saint-Symphorien
Leya Iseka (35'), Boulaya (90+3')
Goncalves (29'), Sarr (85'), Boulaya (89')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Coco (66'), Girotto (90')

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

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

Still searching for his first win as Nantes manager, Raymond Domenech now faces a journey to a Metz side who overcame title-chasing Lyon in their most recent outing.

The hosts have risen to 10th in the table after going their last three games unbeaten, while Nantes remain just three points clear of danger.

Match preview

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

Metz kicked off 2021 with home draws against Bordeaux and Nice - two games which they may have felt optimistic about winning - so the confidence would not have been sky high ahead of their journey to table-topping Lyon.

However, Frederic Antonetti's men defied the odds to claim a 1-0 win at the Groupama Stadium, as Aaron Leya Iseka came off the bench to bag a late winner and send Les Grenats into delirium.

With only one defeat from their last seven matches, Metz have now overtaken a Montpellier HSC side tipped to push for a European place, and Antonetti's men should certainly be looking upwards rather than over their shoulder heading into the second half of the season.

The hosts' tally of 28 points after 20 matches is their best at this stage since the turn of the millennium, and having kept four clean sheets in their last six matches, only Paris Saint-Germain (5) have recorded more shut-outs in the same period.

Then again, Antonetti's men have only managed to prevail once in their last six attempts at the Stade Saint-Symphorien, and they are now facing a Nantes side who have found their resolve under Domenech.

Nantes manager Raymond Domenech pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Nantes manager Domenech has certainly helped steady the ship since his long-awaited return to the game, but the experienced Frenchman is still waiting for his first win in the Canaris dugout.

The visitors have shared the spoils in their first three matches of 2021, although those draws have come against European-chasing teams in Rennes, Montpellier and most recently Lens.

It was a tale of two penalties in the first half as Imran Louza gave Nantes the lead from 12 yards after Gael Kakuta had blasted his spot kick over the bar, but Lens ensured that Domenech's wait for a win would continue as Kakuta redeemed himself with a second-half equaliser.

Unbeaten but winless since taking charge, Domenech's Nantes are flirting with relegation and are only three points clear of 18th-placed Nimes after their win at Marseille, and failure to come out on top against Metz would stretch Les Canaris' winless run to 12 matches since a 2-0 win at Lorient on November 8.

Metz took the spoils in a 1-0 win when these sides last met at the Stade Saint-Symphorien, but both teams walked away with a point in a 1-1 draw at Nantes back in November.

Metz Ligue 1 form: WWLDDW

Nantes Ligue 1 form: LDLDDD

Team News

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

Metz would ideally be fielding an unchanged lineup from their historic triumph at Lyon, but left-back Thomas Delaine was forced off with a muscular problem and could relinquish his spot on the left to Matthieu Udol.

Leya Iseka should also be handed a start following his winner last time out - potentially in place of Vagner.

Opa Nguette, Kevin N'Doram and Ibrahima Niane - the latter of whom is expected to be out for the season - all remain sidelined for the visitors.

Meanwhile, Nantes will welcome Charles Traore back from suspension for this game, although it is difficult to see Fabio losing his place on the left-hand side of defence.

Moses Simon is not expected to be fit in time for this one either, but there could be a change out wide regardless with Ludovic Blas hoping to demote Marcus Coco to the bench.

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Centonze, Bronn, Boye, Kouyate, Udol; Angban, Maiga; Boulaya; Leya Iseka, Gueye

Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Corchia, Pallois, Girotto, Fabio; Louza, Abeid, Toure, Blas; Kolo Muani, Coulibaly

SM words green background

We say: Metz 1-0 Nantes

These two teams are renowned for their low-scoring affairs and that is unlikely to change here. Both defences will prove difficult to break down, but Metz will certainly feel capable of beating anyone having just overcome Lyon, so we expect a narrow home win in this one.

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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Lyon manager Rudi Garcia pictured in November 2020
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