MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 03:34:59| >> :600:5549823:5549823:
Jan 9, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade des Costieres
FT(HT: 0-1)
Yilmaz (29')
Bradaric (19'), Soumare (34'), Xeka (90+1')

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

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

Nimes will be aiming to follow in Angers' footsteps and pull off an improbable shock win against Lille when the two sides lock horns at the Stade des Costieres on Saturday.

Twenty-four points and 17 places separate the two teams in the table, with the hosts rooted to the bottom while Lille sit third after 18 matches.

Match preview

Nimes manager Jerome Arpinon pictured in February 2019© Reuters

Jerome Arpinon made no secret of his disappointment after Nimes were thrashed by a fellow relegation rival in Strasbourg, who hit Les Crocodiles for five without reply on Wednesday evening.

As if conceding a quintet of goals was not already bad enough, Nimes also gave away three penalties on the night - one of which from Ludovic Ajorque was saved by Baptiste Reynet - and Arpinon did not hold back after the game as he blasted his side's performance at the Stade de la Meinau.

The 5-0 drubbing left Nimes down in 20th with the prospect of survival becoming increasingly unlikely, with four points separating Arpinon's men from safety after Nantes and Dijon both managed to pick up a point from their midweek encounters.

No team in the league has shipped more goals than Nimes (39) so far, and Les Crocodiles have also lost more times at home than any other club in the 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign - falling to defeat seven times in nine games on familiar territory.

Even if Nimes were to produce an unthinkable result against Lille, three points would not be enough for the league's basement side to climb out of the bottom three, and they are now coming up against a Dogues team with a point to prove after a surprise defeat on Wednesday.

Lille head coach Christophe Galtier pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Lille's Ligue 1 title bid suffered a significant blow in their first match of 2021 as they lost 2-1 to European outsiders Angers, who struck twice early on through Romain Thomas before Burak Yilmaz pulled one back for Les Dogues.

The defeat at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy - their first loss at home in the league campaign - abruptly ended Lille's seven-game unbeaten run in the French top flight as they lost ground on Lyon at the top of the table.

Christophe Galtier's men are now three points off the pace after Lyon prevailed against Lens and dropped to third following Paris Saint-Germain's stalemate with Saint-Etienne, with only goal difference separating Lille from the champions.

Les Dogues failed to kick off the New Year in ideal fashion, but a trip to Nimes could prove to be the perfect tonic for Galtier and co as they bid to return to winning ways and keep the pressure on the top two.

Nimes last took the spoils in a meeting with Lille back in February 1999, although Les Dogues had Victor Osimhen's equaliser to thank as they rescued a 2-2 draw in their most recent bout with the division's basement side last season.

Nimes Ligue 1 form: LLLDLL

Lille Ligue 1 form: WWWDWL
Lille form (all competitions): LWWDWL

Team News

Lyon's Bruno Guimaraes in action with Lille's Renato Sanches in Ligue 1 on March 8, 2020© Reuters

Nimes full-back Florian Miguel serves the second of a two-game ban following his red card against Dijon back in December, but Birger Meling's return has eased Arpinon's worries at left-back.

Fellow defenders Pablo Martinez and Loick Landre remain sidelined, though, as does Sidy Sarr - victim of a leg injury during a training session.

Arpinon affirmed that he will only select players willing to fight for the shirt after Wednesday's humiliation at Strasbourg, so it would not be a surprise to see the likes of Lamine Fomba, Niclas Eliasson and Yassine Benrahou return to the first XI.

Lille are once again in a crisis at right-back as Zeki Celik - who is being linked with a move to Everton - has made a swift return to the treatment room alongside Jeremy Pied.

The COVID-positive Yusuf Yazici and Ronald Araujo will miss out once more, but Renato Sanches could potentially make his return from a thigh injury in time for the trip to Nimes.

Should Sanches not be cleared for a return to action just yet, Boubakary Soumare is another option for change in the engine room.

Nimes possible starting lineup:
Reynet; Burner, Briancon, Guessoum, Meling; Fomba, Cubas; Ferhat, Benrahou, Eliasson; Roux

Lille possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Djalo, Fonte, Botman, Bradaric; Ikone, Andre, Soumare, Bamba; David, Yilmaz

SM words green background

We say: Nimes 0-3 Lille

Arpinon is sure to be fearing for his future in the Nimes dugout after a truly dismal night in Strasbourg, and the visit of Lille could not have come at a worse time for the hosts. Les Dogues will be determined to prove that their defeat to Angers was nothing more than a minor blip, and the title hopefuls should record a routine win on Saturday.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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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Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

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