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Clermont Foot
Ligue 1 | Gameweek 33
May 12, 2024 at 8pm UK
Stade Gabriel Montpied

0 - 1

Cham (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Mangala (53')
Orban (62'), Mata (89')

Preview: Clermont vs. Lyon - prediction, team news, lineups

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

In the penultimate round of league fixtures this season, Clermont and Lyon will do battle on Sunday in a game of major importance at both ends of the Ligue 1 table.

The hosts are confined to a bottom-three finish and will fight to keep any hopes of a relegation playoff alive, as opposed to an automatic drop, while their visitors trail Lens in the final European spot by two points with six left to fight for.

Match preview

Clermont coach Pascal Gastien on February 6, 2022© Reuters

Clermont head into the final two games of the Ligue 1 season in an increasingly desperate position, having been confined to a finish in the drop zone and left to fight for the playoff place and avoid the two automatic relegation spots.

That will be no easy task, though, as Les Lanciers find themselves stuck at the foot of the division having amassed just 25 points from their 32 outings thus far, while only picking up five wins along the way.

The most recent of those triumphs did come recently to keep their faint automatic survival hopes alive, as Pascal Gastien's side ended a four-game winless streak with a 4-1 beating of Reims, thanks to braces from Muhammed Cham and Elbasan Rashani, but they would see any hopes of escaping the bottom three dashed in a tough trip to second-placed Monaco last weekend.

Cham did draw Les Lanciers level at a goal apiece in the first half of that meeting, but Breel Embolo instantly restored the hosts' lead before Wissam Ben Yedder added a second-half brace to condemn Gastien's men to a 4-1 defeat of their own and confine them to the bottom three.

Now trailing 17th-placed Lorient by one point and 16th-placed Metz by four with just six left to fight for, Clermont head into Sunday's match knowing only a win will be sufficient to maintain any hopes of steering clear of the bottom two and booking a relegation playoff tie, while also relying on Metz suffering a defeat to keep the fight open ahead of the final day.

Lyon's Jake O'Brien celebrates scoring their first goal with Nicolas Tagliafico on December 2, 2023© Reuters

They face a tough test, though, as the visitors arrive in fine form with the need for a win of their own in their bid for a top-six finish this term, after enduring a dismal start to the campaign.

Boasting more Ligue 1 wins than any other side since the turn of the year under the management of Pierre Sage, Lyon have quickly risen through the French top flight and into seventh spot, and they have strengthened their claim by amassing 19 points in the last eight attempts, with the only defeat in that run coming away at leaders Paris Saint-Germain in late April.

After that setback ended a five-match unbeaten streak, Les Gones have again bounced back in impressive fashion since, firstly returning to winning ways in a tight contest with second-placed Monaco, with Alexandre Lacazette, Said Benrahma and Malick Fofana firing them to a 3-2 triumph, before they again came out on top in a dramatic encounter away at Lille last time out.

Sage's side trailed 2-0 and 3-2 in that meeting, but Benrahma and Fofana initially levelled the game, before Lacazette hit an 88th-minute leveller to tie the game at three goals apiece and Mama Balde snatched all three points with the winner in injury time at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Such a comeback win saw Lyon remain two points behind sixth-placed Lens and four behind fifth-placed Nice ahead of the final two games, and they will bid to strengthen their surprise push for European qualification with a third straight victory at the weekend.

Clermont Ligue 1 form:

Lyon Ligue 1 form:

Lyon form (all competitions):

Team News

Lyon players look dejected after the match on September 3, 2023© Reuters

Clermont remain without several key players heading into Sunday's contest, with midfield veteran Maxime Gonalons remaining confined to the treatment room alongside Jim Allevinah, Cheick Oumar Konate and Adam Mabrouk.

Elbasan Rashani will return to contention, though, after serving a suspension last time out, and he should line up on the left wing from the start following his brace in their 4-1 beating of Reims last month.

Muhammed Cham also netted two in that game and their leveller last time out to take his tally to eight Ligue 1 goals for the season, and he will continue to play an important role behind a lone striker, with Johan Gastien and Yohan Magnin set to continue at the base of the midfield.

Lyon may be unchanged from Monday's 4-3 win away at Lille, although Malick Fofana and Mama Balde do have claims to come in from the outset after scoring crucial goals off the bench in that game, with the former having notched up three in his last five appearances.

Alexandre Lacazette is bound to again spearhead the attack, having scored six goals in Les Gones' last six Ligue 1 outings to take his tally to 17 for the season, while winger Said Benrahma has also scored in back-to-back matches from the left-hand side after his January loan arrival from West Ham United.

Maxence Caqueret, Corentin Tolisso and Nemanja Matic will all bid to keep their places in midfield, while Duje Caleta-Car and Jake O'Brien are bound to continue their centre-back partnership.

Clermont possible starting lineup:
Diaw; Zeffane, Pelmard, Caufriez, Borges; Gastien, Magnin; Virginius, Cham, Rashani; Kyei

Lyon possible starting lineup:
Lopes; Mata, O'Brien, Caleta-Car, Tagliafico; Caqueret, Matic, Tolisso; Fofana, Lacazette, Benrahma

SM words green background

We say: Clermont 1-3 Lyon

Clermont did produce a crucial victory to keep their survival hopes alive when they met Reims recently, but Les Lanciers saw any momentum halted in another defeat last time out, while Lyon travel with plenty of confidence in fine form, and we see Sage's free-scoring side having too much for their hosts and prevailing on Sunday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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