18/05/2024

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

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

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

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

European hopefuls Nice welcome relegation-threatened Lorient to the Allianz Riviera for a potentially pivotal Ligue 1 encounter on Friday night.

The last two meetings between these two clubs have ended as 1-1 draws, including the reverse fixture at Stade du Moustoir back in August.


Match preview

Nice coach Francesco Farioli reacts on January 13, 2024© Reuters

At the beginning of February, Nice were sitting second in the table, just six points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain and in a strong position to qualify for the Champions League. However, their form has since taken a nosedive over the last two months.

Indeed, Nice have won just one, drawn two and lost five of their last eight Ligue 1 matches and have subsequently slipped to fifth in the table, 19 points behind PSG at the summit, eight points behind the top three and five points adrift of Lille in fourth spot with just six games remaining.

After claiming an important 3-1 victory over sixth-placed Lens in mid-March, Les Aiglons suffered a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to relegation contenders Nantes before playing out a goalless stalemate with Reims in their most recent outing just under a fortnight ago.

The pressure is on head coach Francesco Farioli to turn his side's fortunes around quickly if they wish to secure at least a Europa League qualification spot for next season. Fixtures against Marseille, PSG and Lille are on the horizon, but they must first shift their focus to Friday's contest with Lorient.

Since winning seven home games in a row between October 21 and January 27, Nice have failed to win any of their last four matches in front of their own fans, losing three of those, but they have picked up 14 points across their last six home meetings with Lorient (W4 D2) which bodes well ahead of Friday's clash.

Lorient head coach Regis Le Bris pictured on September 7, 2022© Reuters

Lorient were sat rock bottom of Ligue 1 at the beginning of February before winning three successive games to significantly boost their survival hopes. However, they have since accumulated only four points across their last six matches and remain in danger of the drop.

Les Merlus have failed to win any of their last four top-flight fixtures, following up a 2-0 loss against Lyon and a respectable 2-2 draw at Monaco with back-to-back defeats without reply against Brest and Montpellier, losing 2-0 away to the latter in their last outing on April 7.

With only six games remaining, Regis Le Bris sees his side sitting 18th - the relegation playoff position - in the Ligue 1 table, hovering just above the bottom two on goal difference, while they are two points adrift of safety and have a game in hand on each of the six teams above them.

Lorient have picked up exactly 13 points both home and away so far this season, although 10 of those points have been collected across their last five away matches, which should provide them with confidence heading to the Allianz Riviera where they have not won since April 2014 (1-2).

Nice Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D


Nice form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D


Lorient Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L


Team News

Nice's Jean-Clair Todibo in action on February 4, 2024© Reuters

Nice attacker Sofiane Diop is ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing foot surgery, while Valentin Rosier and Youssouf Ndayishimiye are in the treatment room with thigh injuries.

A back four of Jordan Lotomba, Jean-Clair Todibo, Dante and Melvin Bard is set to remain intact, but Farioli may consider recalling Morgan Sanson in midfield at the expense of either Pablo Rosario or Hicham Boudaoui.

With 10 goals to his name this term, top scorer Terem Moffi is expected to lead the line, while Gaetan Laborde and Evann Guessand will battle with Mohamed-Ali Cho and Jeremie Boga for a start in attack.

As for Lorient, Bonke Innocent (thigh), Montassar Talbi (shoulder), Igor Silva (leg), Stephane Diarra (knee) and Quentin Boisgard (foot) are all sidelined with injuries.

Benjamin Mendy will be pushing to start ahead of Darlin Yongwa at left wing-back, while Tiemoue Bakayoko will be hoping to return in centre-midfield at the expense of Imran Louza.

Mohamed Bamba has only scored one goal in his last six appearances, but he is expected to continue as the central striker, and he could be supported in attack by Julien Ponceau and Ayman Kari.


Nice possible starting lineup:
Bulka; Lotomba, Todibo, Dante, Bard; Sanson, Rosario, Thuram; Laborde, Moffi, Boga

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Mvogo; F. Mendy, Adjei, Toure; Katseris, Abergel, Bakayoko, Yongwa; Kari, Ponceau; Bamba


SM words green background

We say: Nice 2-0 Lorient

It is difficult to convincingly back either side to come out on top considering their respective poor runs of form, but Nice will be regarded as favourites on home soil and should find a way to claim three precious points against a Lorient side whom they have not lost against in their previous four meetings.



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




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