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Aug 8, 2021 at 2pm UK

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

:Headline: Preview: Bordeaux vs. Clermont - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Bordeaux and Clermont, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Bordeaux take on newly-promoted Clermont in Ligue 1 on Sunday, with the visitors looking to make a bright start to their first ever season in France's top flight.

Bordeaux, meanwhile, will be aiming to improve on last season's 12th-placed finish.

Match preview

Indeed, after finishing in the top half for 12 of 13 seasons between 2005 and 2018, three successive bottom half finishes represents a serious downturn in Bordeaux's status in France.

However, Les Girondins have made a serious coup by attracting Vladimir Petkovic away from his role as Switzerland manager, with the 57-year-old deciding to step back into club management after seven successful years in the international sphere.

While Petkovic's expertise will likely improve Bordeaux, though, he will likely be expecting more backing in the transfer market than he has currently received, with only three signings made so far during the window.

Regardless, a club of their size and ambition will be expected to comfortably beat Clermont on Sunday, which would represent a positive start to the season ahead.

However, Clermont will be no pushovers, especially given how determined they will be to prove that they can compete at this level rather than simply being there to make up the numbers.

They are a settled side, too, having been managed by Pascal Gatien since 2017. The 57-year-old won Ligue 2 manager of the year in 2018-19, but it would be fair to say the club's first ever promotion to Ligue 1 came from nowhere last season.

With only four signings through the door ahead of Sunday's trip to Bordeaux, it could prove a very tough ask indeed for Clermont to survive this season.

That said, they had three forwards who hit double figures last season, with Mohamed Bayo striking 22 times. If the trio can find their feet at this level, they will have a fair chance of upsetting the odds, with a fast start potentially required to build momentum and belief within the squad.

Team News

Bordeaux will remain without Paul Baysse after the central defender suffered a cruciate ligament rupture in May.

Samuel Kulu is also doubtful due to an ongoing thigh problem, while Hwang Ui-jo is also unavailable after his involvement at the Olympic Games with South Korea Under-23s.

In his place, Josh Maja may be proved with an opportunity in attack after an underwhelming loan spell with Fulham in the second half of last season.

Clermont, meanwhile, will travel without Yohann Magnin due to the midfielder's cruciate ligament rupture which was sustained in April, but he could return to training towards the end of September.

Salis Abdul Samed could start in midfield in Magnin's absence in order to provide energy and defensive nous in front of the defence.

Bayo will likely be flanked by Jim Allevinah and Jodel Dossou, who each scored 12 goals in Ligue 2 last season.

Bordeaux possible starting lineup:
Costil; Bellanova, Kwateng, Koscielny, Bessile, Mensah; Adli, Lacoux, Basic; Maja, Oudin

Clermont possible starting lineup:
Desmas; Seidu, Hountondji, Ogier, N'Simba; Gastien, Samed; Dossou, Berthomier, Allevinah; Bayo

We say: Bordeaux 1-1 Clermont

Petkovic will be aware that he has a sizable task on his hands to turn Bordeaux back into a regular top half club in Ligue 1, and it may take time for his methods to filter through to his players.

Moreover, the visitors undoubtedly have enough attacking firepower to make life difficult for their opponents, and they can play with freedom in the early weeks of the season.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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