MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 13:08:15| >> :600:417233:417233:
Dec 23, 2020 at 6pm UK at Stade Municipal du Ray
NiceNice
2-2
LorientLorient
Lotomba (18'), Reine-Adelaide (34')
Boudaoui (73'), Lotomba (90'), Reine-Adelaide (90+3')
Bambu (81')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Moffi (49'), Grbic (82' pen.)
Laporte (38'), Monconduit (44'), Lemoine (45+1'), Le Fee (90+3')

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

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

Nice and Lorient will both be looking to bounce back from dampening defeats in Ligue 1 when the two sides do battle at the Allianz Riviera on Wednesday evening.

Les Aiglons suffered a 4-1 home defeat to Lyon at the weekend, whereas Lorient also lost on their own patch as Rennes cruised to a 3-0 win last time out.


Match preview

Nice's Pierre Lees-Melou celebrates with teammates after scoring against AS Monaco on November 8, 2020© Reuters

Adrian Ursea's Nice were on a high after winning their first match of their new manager's reign, with Les Aiglons prevailing 2-0 at Nimes before welcoming Lyon to the Allianz Riviera.

However, the title-challenging Gones soon crashed the Nice party with a resounding 4-1 victory on Saturday evening, with Memphis Depay, Houssem Aouar, Karl Toko Ekambi and Tino Kadewere all on target while Amine Gouiri pulled one back for Les Aiglons.

The Nice faithful were certainly not expecting Ursea to turn their side into world-beaters from the off, but that defeat to Lyon means that Les Aiglons remain in the bottom half of the table in 13th - nine points clear of the drop zone as things stand - although Ursea's men do have a game in hand on all the teams below them.

Under Ursea and Patrick Vieira, Nice have now succumbed to defeat in their last six home games in all competitions, but the visit of a struggling Lorient outfit represents the perfect opportunity for the hosts to return to winning ways on their own patch.

Lorient manager Christophe Pelissier pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Lorient's defeat to Rennes was overshadowed by a harrowing incident after the game in which a groundsman sadly lost his life after a heating structure collapsed and fell on him at the Stade du Moustoir.

Before that tragic accident, Lorient failed to get the better of Rennes as the European hopefuls eased to a 3-0 victory on the night courtesy of goals from Benjamin Bourigeaud, Damien Da Silva and Martin Terrier.

Les Merlus have now come up short in six of their last seven matches in the French top flight and are already being tipped to make an immediate return to the second division, with Christophe Pelissier's side in 19th heading into Christmas.

Lorient are three points adrift of safety as things stand, but even if Pelissier's men somehow come up trumps in this game, Les Merlus are highly unlikely to climb out of the danger zone with Strasbourg and Reims boasting a far superior goal difference.

While Nice have struggled for results at home recently, Lorient have only taken four points on the road all season, and Les Merlus have managed to pick up a solitary win in their last seven meetings with Nice.

Nice Ligue 1 form: LLDLWL
Nice form (all competitions): LDLLWL

Lorient Ligue 1 form: LLLWLL


Team News

Nice teammates Walter Benitez and Kasper Dolberg pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Nice's Morgan Schneiderlin will return from a suspension for this one, but Saturday's goalscorer Gouiri serves a ban of his own for the visit of Lorient.

The loss of Gouiri leaves Ursea with a huge call to make up top as Kasper Dolberg has been ruled out of action until the New Year, while Les Aiglons' other centre-forward Myziane Maolida is nursing a thigh problem.

However, Ursea will be boosted by the return of Jeff Reine-Adelaide, who was ineligible to face his parent club Lyon, and the Frenchman could line up on the left-hand side of the attack with Dan Ndoye leading the line.

As for Lorient, Andreaw Gravillon will serve the second of his two-game ban this week, but Julien Laporte was fit enough to make the bench against Rennes and he could come back into the side here.

Laporte's return would see Chelsea loanee Trevoh Chalobah shifted further up the pitch, but Pierre-Yves Hamel had to leave the pitch injured seven minutes into the second half against Nice.

Adrian Grbic will be vying for a start up top in place of the injured Hamel, but Thomas Fontaine, Houboulang Mendes and Matthieu Saunier are all in the treatment room.

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Pelmard, Bambu, Nsoki; Atal, Schneiderlin, Boudaoui, Kamara; Lopes, Ndoye, Reine-Adelaide

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Delaplace, Laporte, Morel, Le Goff; Chalobah, Lemoine; Diarra, Boisgard, Wissa; Grbic


SM words green background

We say: Nice 1-0 Lorient

Both of these teams will be desperate to round off the year on a high note after a challenging start to the campaign, and Lorient may feel cautiously optimistic given Nice's worrying home form. However, Ursea's men should still have too much quality for the relegation candidates, even without a recognised striker, so we expect Les Aiglons to take the spoils in this one.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
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RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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