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Ligue 1 | Gameweek 34
May 19, 2024 at 8pm UK
Stade Yves Allainmat - Le Moustoir
Clermont Foot

5 - 0

Abergel (38'), Bamba (42' pen.), Bouanani (54'), Dieng (63', 90+1')
Laporte (20'), Dieng (69'), Ponceau (72')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Magnin (12'), Gastien (43'), Allevinah (72'), Diaw (90+3')

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

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

Needing a lopsided victory and some help to avoid relegation, Lorient will host Clermont on Sunday at Stade du Moustoir in the final Ligue 1 matchday for both sides this season.

Heading into this encounter, Les Merlus are second from the bottom, three points below Metz in the relegation playoff battle following a 3-1 defeat versus Marseille, while Clermont are already assured of going down to Ligue 2 after narrowly losing 1-0 to Lyon.

Match preview

Lorient's Enzo Le Fee celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on April 30, 2023© Reuters

There is still a glimmer of hope for Lorient heading into the final match of the domestic campaign, but many things need to go their way if they are to remain in the top flight for a fifth successive campaign.

In order for them to survive relegation, the club from Brittany must win, while they need Metz to lose, and there would also need to be a seven-goal swing in favour of Lorient.

That may feel like a stretch, but Le FCL's biggest domestic victory this season was by three goals (4-1 over Lille), while Metz's largest defeat was by four goals (5-1 versus Rennes).

Regis Le Bris has seen his side struggle to earn points at home down the stretch of the Ligue 1 campaign, losing five successive domestic contests at Stade du Moutsoir.

Lorient have not lost on the final day of a top-flight campaign in any of the previous three seasons but have only claimed three points in one of those instances, defeating Strasbourg 2-1 last season.

They have never lost to Clermont at home in Ligue 1, winning this exact fixture a season ago by a 2-1 score in August 2022.

Clermont coach Pascal Gastien on February 6, 2022© Reuters

After three seasons in the top flight of French football, Clermont will be heading down into the second tier once the final whistle blows at Stade du Moustoir on Sunday.

To their credit, though, Pascal Gastien's side have not just rolled over despite being dead last for most of the season, claiming at least a point in four of their last six league fixtures.

Down the stretch of the campaign, Les Lanciers have let their share of opportunities slip through their fingers, squandering four points when netting the opening goals since April while dropping 12 points in league play this season after drawing first blood.

A victory this weekend would at the very least ensure they do not finish last, though they can accumulate no more than 28 points, which would be their fewest in a top-flight campaign and 31 fewer than last season.

Clermont have played 109 encounters in Ligue 1, netting 109 times altogether, but if they fail to score on Sunday, they would become just the fifth side to record fewer than a goal per game in the French top-flight among teams that have played at least 100 games, after Troyes, Amiens, Martigues and Grenoble.

They have not won a match at Stade du Moutsoir since February 2020, when both sides were in Ligue 2 (1-0), but have beaten them the last two times they have squared off in the top flight, failing to concede both times.

Lorient Ligue 1 form:

Clermont Ligue 1 form:

Team News

Lorient coach Regis Le Bris before the match on April 24, 2024© Reuters

Quentin Boisgard is expected to miss this match for Lorient with a sore foot, while Igor Silva and Ayman Kari are unlikely to feature because of knee injuries.

Bonke Innocent will not be available for Les Melus on Sunday due to a sore thigh, and Isaak Toure continues to recover from a groin strain.

Benjamin Mendy scored the only goal for them in their defeat against OM, just the second of the season for the former World Cup winner.

Maxime Gonalons missed the Clermont match against Lyon with an unknown injury and is likely to miss this final encounter as well.

Elbasan Rashani returned to the Lanciers' lineup last week, one of three changes made to their starting 11, as he, Jeremy Jacquet and Chrislain Matsima replaced Maximiliano Caufriez, Mehdi Zeffane and Jeremie Bela.

Shamar Nicholson had the only goal in their previous meeting with Lorient this season, while Mory Diaw has not conceded in his last two starts against Les Merlus.

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Mvogo; Katseris, Laporte, Talbi, B. Mendy; Bouanani, Bakayoko, Abergel, Ponceau, Dieng; Bamba

Clermont possible starting lineup:
Diaw; Zeffane, Matsima, Pelmard, Borges; Magnin, Gastien; Boutobba, Cham, Rashani; Allevinah

SM words green background

We say: Lorient 2-1 Clermont

While Lorient have been poor defensively all season, they are going up against the worst attacking side in the league, which should enable them to be a little more aggressive going forward and find some openings.

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

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