MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 14:39:03| >> :600:5676067:5676067:
Mar 14, 2021 at 12pm UK at Stade des Costieres
NimesNimes
1-1
MontpellierMontpellier HSC
Kone (63')
Alakouch (47'), Fomba (67')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Delort (79')

Preview: Nimes vs. Montpellier HSC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Nimes and Montpellier HSC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Relegation-threatened Nimes host European hopefuls Montpellier HSC on Sunday, with the visitors hoping to extend their unbeaten Ligue 1 run to seven matches.

The Crocodiles, meanwhile, are hoping to bounce back from last weekend's defeat at Nice and are looking to remain unbeaten in four consecutive home games.


Match preview

Nimes attacker Rachid Alioui in action against Nantes in February 2019© Reuters

After accumulating 10 points from four league matches in February, Nimes suffered defeat away at Nice on Wednesday, losing 2-1 at the Allianz Riviera.

Loick Landre's header brought the Crocodiles back into the game in the 50th minute, after Amine Gouiri had given the hosts an early lead, but a 75th-minute strike from Alexis Claude Maurice secured a narrow victory for the Eagles.

That result sees Nimes remain in 18th place, just inside the relegation zone and two points behind Lorient, who will face Nice this weekend.

Despite the revival under new head coach Pascal Plancque coming to an end, Nimes will still feel that they have a chance of moving away from the bottom three with 10 Ligue 1 games still to play.

The Crocodiles have never lost at home against Montpellier in Ligue 1, and they also won their last encounter against them on the road in October, when Renaud Ripart scored the only goal in a 1-0 away victory.

Claiming all three points on Sunday against a top-10 side would give Plancque's men plenty of belief that they can preserve their top-flight status this campaign.

Montpellier manager Michel Der Zakarian pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Montpellier head into this match after progressing to the last 16 of the French Cup, scraping past fifth-division side Olympique d'Ales, with an 85th-minute strike from Gaetan Laborde securing a slender 2-1 away victory.

La Paillade have recently put together an impressive unbeaten streak, winning five and drawing three of their last eight games in all competitions.

Their next three league matches, including Sunday's encounter with Nimes, are all against teams currently below them in the table, and manager Michel Der Zakarian will be hoping that his side can take advantage of this favourable run as they look to break into the top six.

Montpellier have picked up 20 points from 13 away games in Ligue 1 this term, their joint-highest tally at this stage of a top-flight season, alongside 2009-10 (when they finished 5th) and their 2011-12 title winning campaign, while they had only picked up eight points on the road at this stage last season.

La Paillade currently sit in eighth place and a victory on Sunday would consolidate their position inside the top 10, where they have finished in each of the last three seasons.

Nimes Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Nimes form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L

Montpellier HSC Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D

Montpellier HSC form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W


Team News

Gaetan Laborde in action for Montpellier in April 2019© Reuters

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

Left-back Birger Meling and centre-back Florian Miguel will also miss out this weekend as they are both suspended.

Montpellier striker Andy Delort – who is the club's joint-top goalscorer with nine goals this season – is back in contention to feature, having missed several weeks out with a hamstring injury.

Defender Damien Le Tallec has missed each of La Paillade's last two league games with tendonitis and remains a doubt for Sunday.

Nimes possible starting lineup:
Reynet; Burner, Guessoum, Landre, Paquiez; Cubas; Benrahou, Ripart, Fomba, Ferhat; Kone

Montpellier HSC possible starting lineup:
Omlin; Sambia, Hilton, Congre, Ristic; Ferri; Mavididi, Sacanier, Mollet, Laborde; Delort


SM words green background

We say: Nimes 1-1 Montpellier HSC


Even though Montpellier are unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions, Der Zakarian's side have recently produced three unconvincing performances, with two draws against Reims and Lorient – both below them in the table – as well as a fortunate escape from embarrassment against a fifth-division side in the French Cup.

Nimes are fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table and after beating La Paillade earlier this campaign, they will fancy their chances of claiming at least a point on home soil this Sunday.



Top 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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How you voted: Nimes vs Montpellier

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Draw
22.6%
Montpellier HSC
54.8%
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United StatesUnited States14141038
ChinaChina147930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia910928
AustraliaAustralia821020
Great BritainGreat Britain57618
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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)
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RUGBY SEVENS
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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
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ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
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