MX23RW : Monday, June 14 06:33:10| >> :600:1443544:1443544:
Apr 18, 2021 at 8pm UK at La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau
FT(HT: 0-2)
Depay (5', 37' pen.), Pallois (60')
Denayer (67')

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

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

Lyon will endeavour to stay in the Ligue 1 title race when they take on relegation-threatened Nantes at the Stade de la Beaujoire to round off the action in gameweek 33.

Antoine Kombouare's men fell to defeat in last week's Brittany derby against Rennes, while Lyon claimed a long-awaited three points with a convincing 3-0 success over Angers.

Match preview

Antoine Kombouare, now in charge of Nantes, pictured in 2019© Reuters

Not even the highly-rated Alban Lafont could keep out Martin Terrier's spectacular strike in the Brittany derby last week, as the Rennes attacker curled home from outside the area in the 52nd minute in a 1-0 win for Les Rouge et Noir.

Kombouare's underperforming crop are highly unlikely to be caught by the hapless Dijon at this stage, but two consecutive defeats have seriously hampered their ambitions of another season in the big time, with four points separating 19th-placed Nantes from safety and two from Nimes in the relegation playoff spot.

Les Canaris' 28 points is their fewest after 32 matches in the history of the top flight - not exactly a positive omen for the recently-hired Kombouare - and last week's derby defeat ended a seven-game scoring streak for the relegation candidates in Ligue 1.

At the other end of the pitch, Nantes have now gone 14 games without keeping a clean sheet - despite their recent shift to a three-at-the-back system - and while they have claimed two wins from their last eight, both of those triumphs came away from home.

At the Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes are on a 13-game winless streak since a 3-1 success over Brest in October - with only Dijon on a worse run on familiar territory - although they have at least chalked up a goal in each of their last four on home soil before Lyon and their away day specialists step out onto the turf.

Lyon coach Rudi Garcia pictured on February 19, 2021© Reuters

Lyon's usual suspects in Memphis Depay and Lucas Paqueta flourished in Rudi Garcia's experimental 4-2-3-1 against an Angers side with little to play for, as the Netherlands international struck either side of the playmaker's finish to propel Les Gones to a 3-0 success last week.

Garcia's side had only taken two points from a possible nine before their dominant win over Les Scoistes - a run of form which has seen them slip further behind Lille and Paris Saint-Germain in the race for supremacy - and Monaco's well-oiled machine have taken advantage to leapfrog Les Gones, who now occupy fourth spot in the rankings.

Six points now separate Lyon from the league leaders - whom they will be facing on April 25 before a battle with Monaco on May 2 - and failure to take six points from those two fixtures may lead the Lyon faithful to concede defeat in the title chase.

However, most of Les Gones' slip-ups have come on their own turf, as Garcia's men travel to Nantes on a 14-game unbeaten run away from home - albeit with three draws from their last three - and not since a goalless stalemate with Bordeaux on September 11 have Lyon failed to find the back of the net on rival territory.

Garcia's side eased to a 3-0 win over Nantes just before Christmas, and the hosts have only managed to win two of their last 11 top-flight games against Lyon at the Stade de la Beaujoire, so not many bets are likely to be placed on the relegation candidates improving that record despite their desperate need for points.

Nantes Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L

Lyon Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

Lyon form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W

Team News

Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar pictured on January 9, 2021© Reuters

Nantes are one of the few teams in the top flight with a clean bill of health at just the right time, and Sebastien Corchia is expected to be cleared despite going off early against Rennes.

With Kombouare now partial to starting three centre-backs, Andrei Girotto and Nicolas Pallois can both feel optimistic of making their 100th Ligue 1 appearances this weekend.

Lyon are not so fortunate on the injury front, as Tino Kadewere has been struggling with a thigh problem and will not be ready to feature just yet, so Islam Slimani could keep his place at the forefront of the attack.

Houssem Aouar could make his return from a muscular problem this weekend, but Garcia has talked up the Paqueta-Maxence Caqueret-Bruno Guimaraes combination in the engine room and is unlikely to alter that here.

Depay's brace last weekend took him up to 16 goals for the Ligue 1 season, although he remains one behind Wissam Ben Yedder and five behind Kylian Mbappe in the race for the golden boot.

Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Girotto, Pallois, Castelletto; Corchia, Blas, Louza, Toure, Traore; Simon, Kolo Muani

Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Dubois, Marcelo, Denayer, Cornet; Caqueret, Guimaraes; Toko Ekambi, Paqueta, Depay; Slimani

SM words green background

We say: Nantes 0-2 Lyon

Garcia has potentially unearthed another winning formula with his timely switch to a 4-2-3-1, and a Nantes team boasting a miserable home record are highly unlikely to prevent Lyon extending their unbeaten away run in the league to 15 matches, so a comfortable win for Les Gones is the only outcome that we can predict.

Top 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

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Lyon coach Rudi Garcia pictured on February 19, 2021
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Sunday's Ligue 1 predictions including Lyon vs. Angers
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