MX23RW : Monday, May 17 04:57:20| >> :120:75929:75929:
Apr 18, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stade des Costieres
Ripart (55' pen.), Lienard (82')
Aholou (29'), Thomasson (61')
Guilbert (47')
FT(HT: 0-0)

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

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

Nimes take on Strasbourg in Ligue 1 on Sunday, with the visitors able to all but end any lingering relegation fears with a victory.

The home side, who currently occupy 18th place in the table, are six points behind Strasbourg and the two sides below them with only six matches remaining.

Match preview

Nimes Olympique's Renaud Ripart celebrates scoring their second goal against Lille in March 2021© Reuters

Indeed, after staying in Ligue 1 on a technicality despite being in the relegation zone when last season was curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, time is running out for Nimes to mount another great escape.

Pascal Plancque's side are currently two points behind 17th-placed Lorient in the table, with last weekend's 1-1 draw at Brest at least keeping four sides within realistic touching distance of themselves.

Moussa Kone fired the visitors into an early lead before Brendan Chardonnet levelled the proceedings, with Brest pushing hard for a vital winner thereafter, having 22 shots and 64% possession across the 90 minutes.

Nimes showed their increasing resilience by valiantly holding on, though, with a victory against Strasbourg on Sunday taking them outside of the bottom three should Lorient lose to Marseille on Saturday.

Strasbourg manager Thierry Laurey pictured in February 2020© Reuters

They are unlikely to find matters easy against a Strasbourg side who have improved since the turn of the year, though, with Thierry Laurey's side looking like they should have more than enough about them to compete in Ligue 1 for a fifth successive season.

However, Strasbourg came up miles short at home to Paris Saint-Germain last weekend, falling 4-1 to Mauricio Pochettino's outfit after an impressive first-half performance from the visitors.

Kylian Mbappe, Pablo Sarabia and Moise Kean all struck in an extremely one-sided opening 45 minutes, with the reigning champions understandably taking their foot off the gas after the break ahead of their Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich three days later.

Moise Dion Sahi and Leandro Paredes both scored for either side in the second half, but Strasbourg's forthcoming fixture appears to be a much more winnable and important one in equal measure, as victory would move them nine points clear of Nimes and potentially the relegation zone with only five games remaining.

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

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

Team News

Strasbourg defender Mohamed Simakan touches elbows with Monaco boss Niko Kovac in September 2020© Reuters

Nimes expect Anthony Briancon, Lucas Buades, Pablo Martinez, Sidy Sarr and Clement Depres all to return from injury at various points in April, but none will feature against Strasbourg.

Plancque is unlikely to make any changes to the side which gained a valuable point at Brest last weekend, but will expect more attacking quality from his side on the day.

Strasbourg, meanwhile, are likely to be without Ludovic Ajorque, Abdul Majeed Waris, Alexander Djiku, Mohamed Simakan and Lebo Mothiba, but all should be available again at different points in April.

Teenager Sahi is pushing for a start having scored from the bench against PSG last time out, but Laurey may elect to trust the same XI to perform better against inferior opposition on Sunday.

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

Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Sels; Guilbert, Kone, Mitrovic, Caci; Sissoko, Aholou; Bellegarde, Thomasson, Lienard; Diallo

SM words green background

We say: Nimes 1-2 Strasbourg

Even without the injured Ajorque, we expect Strasbourg to be too strong for the hosts and end any relegation fears they still have this campaign.

Nimes were fortunate to gain a point at Brest last time out, with Laurey's side possessing the quality to punish them.

Top tip

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