MX23RW : Monday, July 26 05:16:01| >> :600:129699:129699:
Feb 21, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stade Municipal du Ray
Gouiri (61' pen.)
Sellouki (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Kouyate (15'), Gueye (38')

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

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

Nice take on Metz in Ligue 1 on Sunday, with the hosts able to move within three points of their forthcoming opponents in the table with a victory.

Both sides have lost two consecutive games in the league so will view this fixture as an opportunity to get their season back on track.

Match preview

Nice defender William Saliba pictured on January 17, 2021© Reuters

After replacing Patrick Vieira with his assistant Adrian Ursea as manager in December, Nice have not had the positive manager bounce they would have been hoping for.

After finishing fifth in Ligue 1 last season, crashing out of the Europa League at the group stages and occupying 14th position two-thirds into the domestic campaign has to be marked as a disappointing season thus far.

However, with a seven-point cushion over Nantes in 18th place, at least relegation is a very remote concern. Ursea's side must begin defending better soon, though, with last weekend's 3-2 defeat to Marseille highlighting defensive concerns.

Amine Gouiri continues to star for the South of France outfit, though, having bagged eight league goals already this season. Ursea will be hoping the 21-year-old can shine against Metz once again on Sunday.

Metz goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Having occupied a top half position for the majority of the campaign, Frederic Antonetti may be mildly concerned with his side losing back-to-back matches in recent weeks.

Last weekend's 2-1 defeat at home to Strasbourg was a particularly gruelling one for the 59-year-old and his group of players to cope with, having taken the lead in the 17th-minute via Thomas Delaine's opener.

With only Ligue 1's top-three sides boasting a stronger defensive record so far this season, generally when Metz take the lead they hold onto it. However, Adrien Thomasson's brace flipped the game on its head and inflicted defeat on the hosts.

However, given that they are eighth and only three points behind Rennes in fifth, as well as remaining in the French Cup, Metz are still on course for a hugely successful season.

Nice Ligue 1 form: WLLWLL
Nice form (all competitions): LLWWLL

Metz Ligue 1 form: WWWDLL
Metz form (all competitions): WWDLWL

Team News

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

Nice are without Myziane Maolida, Kasper Dolberg, Jordan Lotomba, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Youcef Atal, Danilo Barbosa and Dante due to injury.

Former Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin will be hoping for a start after being used from the substitutes' bench in the defeat to Marseille.

Metz, meanwhile, remain without top goalscorer Ibrahima Niane and Manuel Cabit for the rest of the season.

Ernest Boahene, Vincent Pajot, Opa Nguette and Kevin N'Doram are unlikely to travel to Nice due to injuries, but they should recover in the coming weeks.

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Pelmard, Robson, Nsoki, Kamara; Lopes, Claude-Maurice, Boudaoui, Lees-Melou, Trouillet; Gouiri

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Bronn, Kouyate, Boye; Centonze, Sarr, Maiga, Delaine; Yade, Boulaya; Goncalves

SM words green background

We say: Nice 1-1 Metz

We can envisage a draw between two well-matched teams on Sunday.

Neither side are likely to play with much confidence after disappointing defeats in recent weeks, so may be happy to come out of the game unscathed.

Top 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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