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Ligue 1 | Gameweek 33
May 12, 2024 at 8pm UK
Stade de la Beaujoire - Louis Fonteneau

1 - 2

Abline (54')
Mohamed (33'), Lafont (44'), Pallois (60'), Sissoko (74')
FT(HT: 0-2)
David (8', 11')
Zhegrova (44'), Bentaleb (81')

Preview: Nantes vs. Lille - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Still scrapping for a top-three Ligue 1 finish, Lille's final away game of the 2023-24 season sees Les Dogues pit their wits against Nantes at the Stade de la Beaujoire on Sunday.

As the visitors do their utmost to enhance their Champions League credentials, Les Canaris are just one win away from ensuring their top-flight status for the 2024-25 campaign.

Match preview

Nantes coach Antoine Kombouare on February 16, 2023© Reuters

The return of Antoine Kombouare to the Stade de la Beaujoire dugout has been far from perfect, but the returning Nantes boss has Sunday's hosts on the cusp of mathematical safety thanks to a hard-earned point at Champions League-chasing Brest last time out.

Despite enjoying just 28% of the ball at the Stade Francis-Le Ble, Nantes fought tooth and nail defensively and also benefitted from a couple of first-half Brest injuries in a 0-0 draw, one which guarantees that the 14th-placed Canaris will not be automatically relegated from the top flight this season.

Kombouare's charges are still in danger of being dragged into the relegation playoff spot, currently occupied by Metz, but owing to their four-point lead over Les Grenats with just two games left to play, one more victory will see Nantes officially survive the demotion dogfight.

It will be a tall order for Sunday's hosts to add a 10th victory to their tally, though, as Monaco await for their closing fixture on May 19 after the visit of Lille, but they should not be biting their nails either way; Metz must battle champions Paris Saint-Germain on the final day.

However, Les Canaris have an added motivation to secure their survival with a game to spare, as they are on an abysmal eight-game losing run at home in the top flight; no side in the history of Ligue 1 has ever suffered nine straight defeats on their own patch.

Lille coach Paulo Fonseca on April 18, 2024© Reuters

Coincidentally, upcoming opponents Lille were hitherto the home masters in the French top flight, going unbeaten in 12 straight Ligue 1 matches at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy before last weekend's visit of Lyon, where they came out on the wrong end of a seven-goal spectacular.

Leading 2-0 at the break before being pegged back to 2-2 inside the final 10 minutes, Paulo Fonseca's men had seemingly snatched the spoils through Bafode Diakite's second of the match, but Alexandre Lacazette's equaliser and a last-gasp Mama Balde header in injury time propelled Lyon to the most astounding of successes.

Also sent packing by Aston Villa in an action-packed Europa Conference League quarter-final, the fourth-placed Dogues have two points to make up to Brest in the third and final automatic Champions League spot; their current standing would only suffice for a place in the qualifying rounds.

However, Fonseca's troops remain four points clear of Nice - albeit having played a game more than Les Aiglons, who they face on the final day in a potential straight shootout for fourth place - and despite edging out Metz 2-1 in their last Ligue 1 away game, they have not posted back-to-back victories on the road in the top flight since September 2022.

On the flip side, each of Lille's previous six top-flight losses this season has immediately preceded victory in their next match, and Les Dogues are unbeaten in their last 17 games in all tournaments against Nantes, whom they made light work of in a 2-0 triumph back in August.

Nantes Ligue 1 form:

Lille Ligue 1 form:

Lille form (all competitions):

Team News

Lille's Yusuf Yazici celebrates scoring their first goal on December 14, 2023© Reuters

While Brest had to count the cost of their recent draw with Nantes, Kombouare's side did not sustain any fresh fitness concerns at the Stade Francis-Le Ble, although a quartet of infirm players will play no part in their final home game.

Integral attacker Moses Simon is recuperating from a foot fracture and will miss the rest of the season, while Remy Descamps (groin), Douglas Augusto (thigh) and Bastien Meupiyou (knee) are keeping him company in the medical bay.

Despite possessing 19 goal contributions between them this season, neither Florent Mollet nor Mostafa Mohamed made the Nantes starting XI last time out, but Kombouare should certainly consider drafting at least one key man back into the attacking trident here.

Lille were not so fortunate on the injury front during their exhilarating loss to Lyon, as Yusuf Yazici's race was run with just 28 minutes on the board, while Gabriel Gudmundsson had to come off 13 minutes into the second period.

Yazici's groin issue is expected to rule him out for the remainder of the season, while Gudmundsson's bruise might also force him to miss the visitors' final two games; Edon Zhegrova and Remy Cabella are ready to step in.

Samuel Umtiti (knee), Adam Ounas (calf), Andrej Ilic (foot) and captain Benjamin Andre (thigh) are also in the care of the physios, and the latter's likely absence should see Nabil Bentaleb and Angel Gomes link arms in the middle.

Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Castelletto, Pallois, Comert; Coco, Moutoussamy, Sissoko, Duverne; Kadewere, Mohamed, Mollet

Lille possible starting lineup:
Chevalier; Santos, Diakite, Yoro, Ismaily; Bentaleb, Gomes; Zhegrova, Cabella, Haraldsson; David

SM words green background

We say: Nantes 0-2 Lille

Lille's powers of recovery after suffering a defeat have been a cornerstone of their success this season, while Nantes cannot buy a point let alone a win at home and do not strike fear into the hearts of opposing defences.

The hosts' rearguard action against Brest was admirable, and Fonseca's attacking ranks have been decimated over the past week, but the visitors should still find a way through to all but confirm their Champions League status.

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

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