MX23RW : Friday, April 16 18:13:20| >> :120:19450:19450:
Mar 3, 2021 at 6pm UK at Stade Municipal du Ray
NiceNice
2-1
NimesNimes
Gouiri (4'), Claude Maurice (75')
Atal (54'), Schneiderlin (79'), Lotomba (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Landre (50')
Meling (55'), Fomba (60'), Guessoum (90+1')

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

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

Nice host Nimes in Ligue 1 on Wednesday, with the visitors looking for the win which could move them out of the relegation zone.

The hosts, meanwhile, ended a run of three consecutive defeats with a crucial 2-1 win at Rennes on Friday to move seven points clear of Nimes and the bottom three.


Match preview

Nice manager Adrian Ursea pictured in February 2021© Reuters

After sacking former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira from his position as manager in December after crashing out of the Europa League at the group stage, it has largely been a season to forget for Nice.

Vieira's successor, Adrian Ursea, has failed to have the impact the club would have hoped, with three successive losses seeing them drop to 16th in the table.

Friday's win at Rennes was a crucial one, then, with Flavius Daniliuc's stooping second-half header enough to earn it after Amine Gouiri's penalty and Martin Terrier's rocket from distance had seen the two sides go into the half-time interval level.

A home match against struggling Nimes represents a real opportunity for Ursea to put to bed any lingering relegation fears, with a top-half finish still far from being out of the equation.

Paris Saint Germain's Maxim Choupo-Moting in action with Nimes's Renaud Ripart in Ligue 1 on February 23, 2019© Reuters

Nimes, on the other hand, have certainly had a new manager bounce since replacing Jerome Arpinon with Pascal Plancque last month.

The 57-year-old, who previously managed Niort and was Claude Puel's assistant manager at Southampton and Leicester City, was initially brought in as a co-manager at the beginning of 2021, but has taken 10 points from four league games since Arpinon departed the club to give Nimes a real chance of survival.

Having been 18th prior to all French football being curtailed last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nimes were perhaps fortunate to remain in Ligue 1, but if they do manage to stay up from here then it will be down to their hard work on the field.

Indeed, they showed great resolve in claiming a 1-1 draw against relegation rivals Nantes last weekend, with Moussa Kone cancelling out Ludovic Blas's first-half strike.

Nice Ligue 1 form: LWLLLW
Nice form (all competitions): WWLLLW

Nimes Ligue 1 form: LLWWWD
Nimes form (all competitions): LLWWWD


Team News

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

Nice have several first-team players missing due to injury at present, with Rony Lopes, Kasper Dolberg, Jordan Lotomba, Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Youcef Atal, Danilo Barbosa and Dante all ruled out of the game against Nimes.

Ursea is unlikely to make any changes to the XI which performed so well against Rennes, with former Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin keeping his place in the midfield.

Nimes, meanwhile, have a similarly long list of absentees, with Lucas Deaux, Karim Aribi, Anthony Briancon, Lucas Buades, Pablo Martinez, Sidy Sarr, Clement Depres and Antoine Valerio all out injured.

Florian Miguel is suspended after being sent off in injury time against Nantes.

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Daniliuc, Saliba, Todibo, Nsoki; Maolida, Reine-Adelaide, Schneiderlin, Kamara; Boudaoui, Gouiri

Nimes possible starting lineup:
Reynet; Alakouch, Guessoum, Landre, Meling; Eliasson, Fomba, Cubas, Benrahou, Ferhat; Ripart


SM words green background

We say: Nice 2-1 Nimes

Despite Nimes' recent upturn in form under Plancque, we expect Nice to have taken a great degree of confidence from their win at Rennes.

With relegation fears significantly eased, the hosts should be able to play with more freedom than of late, with their quality likely to tell come the final whistle.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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Nice defender William Saliba pictured on January 17, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Lille32209353193469
2Paris Saint-GermainPSG32213871234866
3MonacoMonaco32205767382965
4Lyon321810463313264
5Lens32141085144752
6Marseille32131094339449
7Rennes32139104035548
8Montpellier HSCMontpellier321210105253-146
9Nice32127134142-143
10Metz32119123638-242
11Angers32118133447-1341
12Reims32913103838040
13Saint-EtienneSt Etienne32109133647-1139
14StrasbourgStrasbourg32106164150-936
15Bordeaux32106163545-1036
16Brest32106164455-1136
17Lorient3288163858-2032
18Nimes3286183159-2830
19NantesNantes32513143249-1728
20Dijon3229212056-3615

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