MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 05:44:49| >> :600:909027:909027:
Dec 13, 2020 at 12pm UK at Stade Municipal du Ray
NiceNice
0-1
RennesRennes

Nsoki (71'), Gouiri (90+5')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Niang (28')
Traore (63')

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

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

Two French giants looking to end abysmal spells of form will lock horns at the Allianz Riviera on Sunday lunchtime as Nice play host to Rennes.

Both European-competing teams recently saw their continental campaigns come to disappointing ends and will be determined to turn their fortunes around in the league as well.


Match preview

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

Nice's Europa League campaign was dead in the water before Adrian Ursea took the reins, and Patrick Vieira's successor was unable to round off their short-lived European venture on a high note as Les Aiglons lost 1-0 to Hapoel Be'er Sheva on the final matchday in Group C.

Rotem Hatuel got the goal which condemned Nice to a fourth-placed finish in the group, but Ursea will be grateful that he can focus entirely on the Ligue 1 season, with Nice already off the pace in the race to secure a European berth.

Les Aiglons are yet to make the net ripple since Ursea took over following a 0-0 draw with Ligue 1 basement side Dijon in the 53-year-old's first game in charge, and despite a relatively strong start to the campaign, Nice have now lost six of their last seven in all competitions.

Nice, who currently occupy 11th spot in the table, are only one point adrift of their weekend opponents Rennes and Bordeaux - both of whom have played a game more - so Ursea could steer his side into the top half of the table should he pick up his maiden victory as Aiglons manager.

In order to do so, Ursea will have to put an end to his side's four-game losing run on home soil in all competitions, although Paris Saint-Germain are the only side to stop Nice from scoring at the Allianz Riviera so far this season.

Rennes head coach Julien Stephan pictured on November 4, 2020© Reuters

Rennes have endured similar fortunes in Europe and their first-ever Champions League venture was certainly one to forget, with Julien Stephan's men also finishing rock bottom of their group.

Les Rouge et Noir ended their disappointing Champions League campaign with a 3-1 home defeat to Sevilla on Tuesday evening, with Georginio Rutter's first goal for the club doing little to lift the Rennes spirits as they crashed out with just one point taken from a possible 18 in Group E.

As is the case with Nice, Rennes have simply struggled to juggle the commitments of playing domestically and on the big international stage, and while a Champions League exit is truly disheartening, a silver lining for the Rouge et Noir faithful will be that Stephan can give the league his undivided attention.

With nine losses from their last 11 in all competitions, Rennes are slowly drifting away from the top four and must turn their fortunes around quickly lest they risk a season without European football.

Les Rouge et Noir have struggled for results against Nice in recent times and are winless against their opponents since the 2015-16 Coupe de France, with Les Aiglons winning five of their last nine against Rennes.

Nice Ligue 1 form: WDWLLD
Nice form (all competitions): LLLLDL

Rennes Ligue 1 form: LWLLDL
Rennes form (all competitions): LLDLLL


Team News

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

Ursea made several changes for Thursday's dead rubber and will revert to full strength here, starting with Walter Benitez coming back in goal for Yoan Cardinale.

However, defender Flavius Daniliuc was forced to sit out the loss to Be'er Sheva with a groin problem and remains a doubt here, while Kasper Dolberg and Youcef Atal are yet to return from adductor and hamstring injuries respectively, although the former has an outside chance of lining up on Sunday.

Hicham Boudaoui will be suspended for next week's trip to Nimes so should start here, while Amine Gouiri, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Jordan Lotomba should all come back in as well.

With regards to Rennes, Nayef Aguerd is expected to make his return to the defence after recovering from coronavirus, while Alfred Gomis could come back for the trip to Nice as well.

However, Serhou Guirassy, Daniele Rugani and Romain Del Castillo remain on the treatment table, along with the COVID-positive Martin Terrier.

Benjamin Bourigeaud will be expected to replace Clement Grenier in the visitors' midfield, while M'Baye Niang could find his spot up top under threat from Adrien Hunou.

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Danilo, Pelmard, Nsoki; Lotomba, Boudaoui, Schneiderlin, Kamara; Lopes, Gouiri, Reine-Adelaide

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Traore, Aguerd, Da Silva, Truffert; Nzonzi, Camavinga, Bourigeaud; Doku, Hunou, Gboho


SM words green background

We say: Nice 1-1 Rennes

Ursea is still figuring out his preferred tactics as he gears up for his third game as Nice manager, but a win over a lowly Rennes would certainly help his standing with the Aiglons faithful. Both sides will be desperate to kickstart a revival in the top flight with no European football to contend with anymore, and while we expect Nice to notch up their first goal of the Ursea reign, Rennes should do enough to come away with a point.


Top betting 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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Simon Mignolet in action for Liverpool in the FA Cup on January 27, 2018
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States24282173
JapanJapan1961136
AustraliaAustralia1441634
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

CYCLING
· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Angers00000000
2Bordeaux00000000
3Brest00000000
4Clermont00000000
5Lens00000000
6Lille00000000
7Lorient00000000
8Metz00000000
9MonacoMonaco00000000
10Montpellier HSCMontpellier00000000
11NantesNantes00000000
12Nice00000000
13Lyon00000000
14Marseille00000000
15Paris Saint-GermainPSG00000000
16Reims00000000
17Rennes00000000
18Saint-EtienneSt Etienne00000000
19StrasbourgStrasbourg00000000
20Troyes00000000

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