MX23RW : Sunday, June 20 21:55:43| >> :600:2513918:2513918:
May 23, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade de la Meinau
Diallo (18')
Carole (10')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Chalobah (55')
Laporte (53')

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

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

Strasbourg take on Lorient in Ligue 1 on Sunday in a potentially pivotal relegation clash.

Both sides are one point ahead of 18th-placed Nantes heading into the final day, with six sides still mathematically able to finish in the first relegation position.

Match preview

Strasbourg manager Thierry Laurey pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Due to their considerably healthier goal difference compared to Lorient and Brest below them in the table, Strasbourg have the potential advantage of knowing that a draw against their relegation rivals on Sunday will guarantee their survival.

However, sometimes this can prove a dangerous mindset for a manager and his players to have prior to a crucial clash, so Thierry Laurey will be keen to ensure that his players are focused on winning without doing anything silly to threaten their survival should the match be heading towards a stalemate scenario.

Laurey will be hoping for a similarly ruthless performance to the one which saw his side retain only 27% possession against Nice yet find the back of the net on two decisive occasions last weekend, with Ludovic Ajorque's brace ensuring that his side's destiny remains in their own hands heading into the final day.

Of course, should Nantes lose at home to Montpellier, both Strasbourg and Lorient will survive regardless of how they fare against each other, but given that Nantes have won four matches in a row, no side in Ligue 1's epic relegation mix can afford to rely on any favours from elsewhere.

Lorient manager Christophe Pelissier pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Indeed, 17th-placed Lorient's position in the table is a particularly precarious one due to their inferior goal difference compared to all of the sides around them, so they must match Nantes' result in order to survive.

Should Nantes win, then a draw would only be good enough for Lorient to survive if Brest are beaten at home to Paris Saint-Germain, who are still chasing league leaders Lille in pursuit of Ligue 1's title at the other end of the table.

As such, while both Strasbourg's and Lorient's coaching staff will be drilling into their players to focus on events on their own pitch only, they are likely to have a keen eye on events elsewhere themselves as it could have a huge impact on how they need to adapt to the match in front of them.

Should PSG be beating Brest as expected, for example, it would be no surprise to see Strasbourg and Lorient play out the match in a risk averse manner to suit both parties, but that approach does not come without its own risks.

Either way, it is set to be an enthralling day, with Lorient needing to improve on a dreadful away record which has seen them accrue only six points from their last 14 matches on the road.

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

Lorient Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Strasbourg goalkeeper Bingourou Kamara pictured in the 2019 Coupe de La Ligue final© Reuters

Strasbourg will not have former Newcastle United goalkeeper Matz Sels available due to COVID-19, so Eiji Kawashima is likely to be preferred to Bingourou Kamara between the posts once again.

Idriss Saadi and Abdul Majeed Waris are both fitness doubts, while Mohamed Simakan and Lebo Mothiba are both definitely out with serious knee injuries.

Lorient, meanwhile, have several injury doubts themselves, with Quentin Boisgard, Jonathan Delaplace, Tiago Ilori, Thomas Fontaine and Matthieu Saunier all unlikely to travel.

Manager Christophe Pelissier is unlikely to make any changes to the XI which secured a hugely important 2-1 win against Metz last time out.

Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Kawashima; Guilbert, Kone, Mitrovic, Djiku, Caci; Thomasson, Aholou, Lienard; Diallo, Ajorque

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Chalobah, Laporte, Morel; Hergault, Le Fee, Lemoine, Abergel, Le Goff; Wissa, Moffi

SM words green background

We say: Strasbourg 1-1 Lorient

With both sides likely to deploy back five systems in a nervy relegation battle, we can envisage a tense affair in Strasbourg on Sunday.

Much will depend on events elsewhere, but with a draw potentially suiting both sides given that Brest have an incredibly tough match against title-chasing PSG, it would not be a surprise to see a share of the spoils ensue here.

Top tip

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