MX23RW : Thursday, May 26 18:02:29| >> :600:425250:425250:
[monks data]
Jan 23, 2022 at 2pm UK at La Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau
4 - 2
Girotto (39'), Kolo (53'), Bukari (69'), Geubbels (86')
Moutoussamy (45+1'), Da Silva (77'), Appiah (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Moffi (56'), Soumano (85')

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

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

Both Nantes and Lorient will be seeking their first Ligue 1 victory of 2022 when they clash on Sunday at Stade de la Beaujoire.

Les Canaris dropped a 2-1 decision to Nice last Friday, while the side from Brittany are currently on the longest winless run in the top flight, without a victory in their previous 14 league fixtures.

Match preview

 Nantes' Ludovic Blas, January 6, 2022© Reuters

The effort and desire may be there for La Maison Jaune, but following their match on Thursday, manager Antoine Kombouare was left disappointed with the lack of consistency that his players showed yet again, scoring only once in their two league fixtures this year.

Being more efficient and showing more quality in front of goal are two areas that the New Caledonia man would like to see from his team moving forward as they return to their home ground, unbeaten in their last two matches played there in all competitions.

Learning and growing as a team have been among the common themes for them throughout this campaign, and that philosophy has served them well, having failed to drop consecutive matches in the league since losing three in a row in between August 22 and September 12.

Despite finding an equaliser late in the first half last week, this group looked a little too passive over the final 45 minutes, waiting a little too long to get going, according to their coach, conceding 11 minutes from the restart as they struggled to find their form or create much against a quality side who are second in Ligue 1 at the moment.

Lately, Nantes have been more reactive than proactive, which is not what Kombouare would like to see, as they have only scored one first-half goal in their previous eight domestic contests while conceding six.

They tend to defend deep in their own third of the field when they do not have the ball in hopes of cutting off the time and space of teams who employ multiple attacking players high up the pitch, a strategy which has been effective at home, allowing only three shots on target in their last two league fixtures played in Pays de la Loire, although they did concede twice in their comeback victory versus Lens.

Lorient manager Christophe Pelissier pictured in December 2020© Reuters

If playing a solid 10-15 minutes was all it took to win, Lorient would be in a much better position in the table than they currently are, sitting tied with Bordeaux near the bottom of the standings and only above the relegation zone because of goal difference.

Their start versus Lille may have been what Christophe Pelissier was looking for, but virtually every time the reigning champions were in the Lorient penalty area early on, they found the back of the net.

Spotting the home side a few goals in the opening stages of a match is hardly a recipe for success, and that is one thing which Les Merlus are guilty of doing a lot of in recent matches, conceding three times within the opening half-hour in each of their last two road fixtures versus Metz (4-1) and Les Dogues (3-1).

This team have not played as poorly as the final score may indicate at times, although it can be a big psychological blow to them when they find themselves trailing by such a large margin at the half like they have in their recent encounters as the visiting team.

Not only are they currently on the longest ongoing run without a win in Ligue 1, but they have suffered a lot of anguish at the hands of Nantes, a team that they have not beaten in 10 consecutive top-flight encounters.

Conceding first seems to knock the stuffing out of this group, who have failed to score in five of their previous seven Ligue 1 matches when going behind first.

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

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

Lorient Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Lorient form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Team News

Nantes head coach Antoine Kombouare pictured on September 12, 2021© Reuters

Nantes will still be missing Jean-Charles Castelletto with Cameroon advancing to the Round of 16 at the Africa Cup of Nations, Charles Traore and Kalifa Coulibaly remain on international duty with Mali, who moved onto the knockout stage of that tournament, and Moses Simon has started in two of the three matches played for Nigeria thus far and could be called upon this Sunday as the Super Eagles battle Tunisia.

Nicolas Pallois is out with a calf injury, Dennis Appiah is recovering from COVID-19 and Wylan Cyprien might not be ready to return due to a hamstring issue.

Last weekend, Andrei Girotto scored his first goal in league play since October 23 as he now has four in this domestic campaign, putting him in third on the team behind Ludovic Blas and Randal Kolo Muani, who are tied at the top with seven each.

Lorient midfielder Dango Ouattara saw his first action for Burkina Faso on Monday as they finished second in their group at the Africa Cup of Nations and will face Gabon on Sunday.

Julien Laporte is not expected back for this game because of personal reasons, Samuel Loric and Stephane Diarra are likely unavailable once again with thigh problems and Jeremy Morel continues to nurse a muscle injury.

Sambou Soumano fired home his first of the season on Wednesday, but it was far too late, with the goal coming in the 92nd minute, although another strike this weekend would put him in a tie for third on the team alongside Laporte and Terem Moffi.

Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Merlin, Corchia, Girotto, Fabio; Coco, Chirivella, Moutoussamy, Geubbels, Blas; Kolo Muani

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Le Goff, Petrot, Fontaine, Silva; Le Fee, Abergel, Monconduit, Lemoine; Lauriente, Moffi

SM words green background

We say: Nantes 1-0 Lorient

Neither side have been spectacular in the early portion of 2022, but Nantes have looked the more well-balanced of the two, and they tend to react better when facing adversity, whereas Lorient seem to fall apart if things do not go their way.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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 Nantes' Ludovic Blas, January 6, 2022
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