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Le Havre
Ligue 1 | Gameweek 29
Apr 14, 2024 at 12pm UK
Stade Oceane

Le Havre
0 - 1

Sabbi (16'), Kuzyaev (83'), Grandsir (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Bamba (90+3')
Pallois (66'), Bamba (90+4')

Preview: Le Havre vs. Nantes - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Le Havre and Nantes, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Le Havre are in relegation form heading into Sunday's Ligue 1 clash with Nantes at Stade Oceane.

One win in eight top-flight games has seen the struggling side slide towards the bottom three before gameweek 29's fixture, while the Canaries seek to claim a second win since Antoine Kombouare returned to the club.

Match preview

Paris Saint-Germain's Lee Kang-in in action with Le Havre's Arouna Sangante and Daler Kuzyayev on December 3, 2023© Reuters

While Le Havre should seek positives from last weekend's 1-1 draw with Europe-chasing Lens, they need to build on that point that meant they avoided losing three on the trot.

Luka Elsner's team had a commendable first half of the season after promotion from Ligue 2, but recent months have led to a significant drop-off in results, with six defeats in eight since the start of February seeing Le Club Doyen sit just two points ahead of a relegation playoff spot.

The 14th-placed club face the team directly below them in the standings this weekend, keen to avoid another loss that means they fall lower in the division. With Lorient just two points behind, Elsner's men could drop into the playoff spot if the former win their daunting outstanding match against Paris Saint-Germain on April 24.

Le Havre have shown some decent play in front of their supporters this term, underscored by claiming 61% of their 28 points at Stade Oceane, and they hope to claim a sixth triumph on their turf this weekend.

It remains to be seen if we see the version that scored three in 3-1 wins over Nice and Lyon either side of the New Year or the one that has not netted more than one goal in their last four Ligue 1 matches as hosts — securing a 1-0 win over Toulouse and losing three.

Nantes coach Antoine Kombouare on February 16, 2023© Reuters

Nantes hope to thwart such Le Havre ambitions when they travel to Normandy, keen to get back to winning after last week's setback against Lyon on Kombouare's first home match at the Stade de la Beaujoire since returning to the club in mid-March.

The Yellow Canaries secured maximum points on the experienced coach's first game back, stunning out-of-form Nice 2-1, but the recent loss has dimmed the optimism somewhat in the last week.

Interestingly, the visitors' last three Ligue 1 wins have come on their travels — 2-1 at Toulouse, 1-0 at Lorient and against Nice — pointing to the Yellow House faring better away from home.

Having lost once in their last five road games (three wins) as opposed to seven consecutive defeats in Nantes, the club's supporters could be forgiven for preferring Sunday's fixture to be played in Normandy.

It adds to the excitement before Sunday's encounter, as Kombouare aims to continue the club's upswing, even if correcting their home form in the concluding weeks could ultimately aid the Canaries' survival prospects.

Le Havre Ligue 1 form:

Nantes Ligue 1 form:

Team News

Nantes' players before the match on October 28, 2023© Reuters

Andy Logbo (knee) is expected to miss out this weekend through injury.

Emmanuel Sabbi (three goals) and Christopher Operi (two goals) have netted in recent home victories, with the latter notching the game's only goal against Toulouse, and Elsner hopes the pair come up trumps this weekend.

Eray Comert is suspended after last week's yellow against Lyon, ruling out the centre-back on Sunday.

Moses Simon broke his fibula on international duty with Nigeria in March, ruling out the wide attacker for the season. Ignatius Ganago, Bastien Meupiyou and Remy Descamps are in the wars and not expected to feature in gameweek 29.

Le Havre possible starting lineup:
Desmas; Sangante, Kinkoue, Lloris, Operi; Kuzyaev, Toure, Targhalline; Casimir, Ayew, Sabbi

Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Amian, Zeze, Castelletto, Cozza; Augusto, Chirivella; Mollet, Sissoko, Abline; Mohamed

SM words green background

We say: Le Havre 1-2 Nantes

While Le Havre have broadly thrived at Stade Oceane on their Ligue 1 return, blowing hot and cold in recent home matches means this one is harder to call. Nantes, on the other hand, have shown greater consistency in recent away matches, possibly giving them the edge on Sunday.

Even though a draw could be expected, we will stick our necks out and opt for a road victory given that the Dean Club are winless in their last eight matches against Nantes in all competitions (five losses).

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

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