Nantes VS Lyon, Lyon stays in the Ligue 1 title race

Match Time:4/19/2021 03:00 Monday  (GMT+8)

France Ligue 1 --  Nantes   VS   Lyon  

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Lyon will endeavour to stay in the Ligue 1 title race when they take on relegation-threatened Nantes at the Stade de la Beaujoire to round off the action in gameweek 33.


Antoine Kombouare's men fell to defeat in last week's Brittany derby against Rennes, while Lyon claimed a long-awaited three points with a convincing 3-0 success over Angers.


Match preview


Not even the highly-rated Alban Lafont could keep out Martin Terrier's spectacular strike in the Brittany derby last week, as the Rennes attacker curled home from outside the area in the 52nd minute in a 1-0 win for Les Rouge et Noir.


Kombouare's underperforming crop are highly unlikely to be caught by the hapless Dijon at this stage, but two consecutive defeats have seriously hampered their ambitions of another season in the big time, with four points separating 19th-placed Nantes from safety and two from Nimes in the relegation playoff spot.


Les Canaris' 28 points is their fewest after 32 matches in the history of the top flight - not exactly a positive omen for the recently-hired Kombouare - and last week's derby defeat ended a seven-game scoring streak for the relegation candidates in Ligue 1.


At the other end of the pitch, Nantes have now gone 14 games without keeping a clean sheet - despite their recent shift to a three-at-the-back system - and while they have claimed two wins from their last eight, both of those triumphs came away from home.


At the Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes are on a 13-game winless streak since a 3-1 success over Brest in October - with only Dijon on a worse run on familiar territory - although they have at least chalked up a goal in each of their last four on home soil before Lyon and their away day specialists step out onto the turf.


Lyon's usual suspects in Memphis Depay and Lucas Paqueta flourished in Rudi Garcia's experimental 4-2-3-1 against an Angers side with little to play for, as the Netherlands international struck either side of the playmaker's finish to propel Les Gones to a 3-0 success last week.


Garcia's side had only taken two points from a possible nine before their dominant win over Les Scoistes - a run of form which has seen them slip further behind Lille and Paris Saint-Germain in the race for supremacy - and Monaco's well-oiled machine have taken advantage to leapfrog Les Gones, who now occupy fourth spot in the rankings.


Six points now separate Lyon from the league leaders - whom they will be facing on April 25 before a battle with Monaco on May 2 - and failure to take six points from those two fixtures may lead the Lyon faithful to concede defeat in the title chase.


However, most of Les Gones' slip-ups have come on their own turf, as Garcia's men travel to Nantes on a 14-game unbeaten run away from home - albeit with three draws from their last three - and not since a goalless stalemate with Bordeaux on September 11 have Lyon failed to find the back of the net on rival territory.


Garcia's side eased to a 3-0 win over Nantes just before Christmas, and the hosts have only managed to win two of their last 11 top-flight games against Lyon at the Stade de la Beaujoire, so not many bets are likely to be placed on the relegation candidates improving that record despite their desperate need for points.


Nantes Ligue 1 form: DLWDLL

Lyon Ligue 1 form: DWDLDW

Lyon form (all competitions): WDLDWW


Team News


Nantes are one of the few teams in the top flight with a clean bill of health at just the right time, and Sebastien Corchia is expected to be cleared despite going off early against Rennes.


With Kombouare now partial to starting three centre-backs, Andrei Girotto and Nicolas Pallois can both feel optimistic of making their 100th Ligue 1 appearances this weekend.


Lyon are not so fortunate on the injury front, as Tino Kadewere has been struggling with a thigh problem and will not be ready to feature just yet, so Islam Slimani could keep his place at the forefront of the attack.


Houssem Aouar could make his return from a muscular problem this weekend, but Garcia has talked up the Paqueta-Maxence Caqueret-Bruno Guimaraes combination in the engine room and is unlikely to alter that here.


Depay's brace last weekend took him up to 16 goals for the Ligue 1 season, although he remains one behind Wissam Ben Yedder and five behind Kylian Mbappe in the race for the golden boot.


Nantes possible starting lineup:

Lafont; Girotto, Pallois, Castelletto; Corchia, Blas, Louza, Toure, Traore; Simon, Kolo Muani


Lyon possible starting lineup:

Lopes; Dubois, Marcelo, Denayer, Cornet; Caqueret, Guimaraes; Toko Ekambi, Paqueta, Depay; Slimani


Nantes 0-2 Lyon


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