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Ligue 1 | Gameweek 23
Feb 25, 2024 at 2pm UK
Allianz Riviera
Clermont Foot

0 - 0

Thuram (8'), Dante (45+5')

Gonalons (30')

Preview: Nice vs. Clermont - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Nice host Clermont at Allianz Riviera on Sunday, keen to end their awful run of Ligue 1 results in the gameweek 23 encounter.

Francesco Farioli's men were previously in contention for the title but have since fallen to third in the division, while their cellar-dwelling opponents are not doomed in the battle for survival despite their current position.

Match preview

Nice coach Francesco Farioli reacts on January 13, 2024© Reuters

Farioli's team were always unlikely to keep pace with Paris Saint-Germain in the title race owing to their reliance on defensive solidity, and so it has proved as they now rank third in Ligue 1, 14 points adrift.

Leapfrogged by Brest, the third-placed side could fall out of the Champions League places this weekend, with Lille, Monaco and Lens within touching distance of the Eaglets — both Lille and Monaco are a point behind ahead of their clash on Sunday.

Nice seek to avoid that eventuality by returning to winning ways in front of their supporters, having suffered their first loss at Allianz Riviera in the 3-2 reverse against Monaco on February 11, ending a six-game sequence of wins and 13-game streak without defeat going back to last season.

That loss came in a 2-1 reverse against this weekend's opponents, and Farioli — who was not in charge in 2022-23 — hopes his players beat the league's bottom club this time around.

Whether that materialises remains to be seen, as the home side's wobble — the Eaglets have lost three times in their last five Ligue 1 fixtures, more than the two defeats from their preceding 17 in 2023-24 — means confidence is not as high as it once was.

Clermont coach Pascal Gastien on February 6, 2022© Reuters

As for the away side, inflicting further misery on the club 15 places ahead in the table is ostensibly far-fetched because of Clermont's awful road form, in which four defeats have been suffered in five.

Only Marseille (seven) have accrued fewer points than the Lancers' nine away from home, making Pascal Gastien's men rank outsiders to pull off a victory on Sunday, even if they claimed a 2-1 success in the corresponding fixture last term.

That Clermont side ended eighth, but this year's iteration are battling for their top-flight status, underscoring the task of inflicting a third straight loss on Nice.

The inability to keep clean sheets has been apparent, with Gastien's men conceding at least once in their last seven Ligue 1 fixtures, only two games shy of the club's nine-game run without a shutout — between September and December 2022.

Only Metz and Lorient (both 23 goals conceded) have let in more than Clermont's 21 away goals, emphasising the Lancers' defensive bugbear outside the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region.

Nice Ligue 1 form:

Nice form (all competitions):

Clermont Ligue 1 form:

Clermont form (all competitions):

Team News

Nice's Terem Moffi celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on September 15, 2023© Reuters

Dante should return to centre-back to partner Jean-Clair Todibo at the heart of the Nice backline.

After Africa Cup of Nations exertions, Terem Moffi and Jeremie Boga could start in Farioli's 4-3-3.

Sofiane Diop and Hichem Boudaoui are out injured until March with respective foot injuries.

Elbasan Rashani is still serving a suspension, and the absent Clermont man is joined by Maximiliano Caufriez, dismissed in the Lancers' 3-1 defeat by Rennes.

Alan Virginius is in the wars due to a groin injury that has kept the midfield man from featuring since February.

Nice possible starting lineup:
Bulka; Lotomba, Dante, Todibo, Bard; Sanson, Rosario, Thuram; Cho, Moffi, Boga

Clermont possible starting lineup:
Diaw; Pelmard, Matsima, Ogier, Borges; Gonalons, Gastien; Boutobba, Cham, Allevinah; Nicholson

SM words green background

We say: Nice 2-0 Clermont

Despite losing the last two league fixtures, Farioli's Nice should secure a routine home win over the league's bottom side on Sunday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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OGC Nice's Jean-Clair Todibo during the warm up before the match  on December 9, 2023
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