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Oct 17, 2021 at 2pm UK
Honorat (74')
Mbock (11'), Faivre (32'), Larsonneur (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Faes (12')
Bilal Toure (26'), Gravillon (61'), Philippe Koffi (66'), van Bergen (90')

Preview: Brest vs. Reims - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Still seeking their first Ligue 1 win of the Michel Der Zakarian era, Brest welcome Reims to the Stade Francis Le-Ble for Sunday's top-flight battle.

The hosts fell to a 2-1 defeat to Nice just before the international break, while Reims also conceded twice in a loss to another high-flying team in Lens.

Match preview

While former Brest boss Olivier Dall'Oglio is struggling for results at Montpellier HSC, La Paillade's former coach Der Zakarian is experiencing the same misfortune at Brest, with that managerial swap benefitting no one given their respective recent runs.

Brest's trip to high-flying Nice was not expected to end well, and Der Zakarian's side found themselves 1-0 down just before half time as Jean-Clair Todibo took advantage of a defensive mishap before Melvin Bard's header put Les Aiglons in firm control just before the hour mark.

Franck Honorat would smash home at the far post to reduce the deficit, but it was too little too late for Brest to salvage anything by that point, and Les Pirates remain second from bottom as one of only two sides yet to win this season.

Basement side Saint-Etienne - who are only below Les Pirates on goals scored - are the only other team in the division to have gone nine games without victory in the 2021-22 campaign, but with Troyes and Metz facing Nice and Rennes respectively this weekend, a positive result could see Brest clamber their way to safety for the time being.

Finding the back of the net is not a problem for Brest as they have scored in every game so far this season, but conceding an average of two goals per game has been their downfall, and not since March have they won a Ligue 1 game at the Stade Francis Le-Ble, going nine matches without a win since that 3-1 success over Dijon.

A sense of defensive indiscipline bedevilled Reims at the end of the first half against Lens on October 1, as 19-year-old attacker Hugo Ekitike caught Kevin Danso with a dangerous high foot and was sent for an early bath, with Arnaud Kalimuendo smashing home the resulting penalty.

Oscar Garcia's 10 men quickly found themselves two goals down after the restart as Kalimuendo finished off a sweeping counter-attack with 52 minutes gone, and there was no way back for Reims as they fell to a second successive defeat away from home.

Unable to keep the momentum going from their 3-1 win over Nantes a week before, Reims - who have won just one of their last four in the division - find themselves 14th in the table and could be flirting with danger very soon if consistency does not come to the fore.

While Brest are not exactly renowned for any sort of superiority at home, Reims have only won one of their last eight away games in the French top flight, with Garcia's youthful-looking side perhaps paying for a lack of experience on the big stage.

Brest are unbeaten in their last four home encounters with Reims - marching to a 2-1 win at the Stade Francis Le-Ble last term - but the most recent battle between the two sides saw Les Rouges et Blances claim a 1-0 win on home turf in January.

Brest Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

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

Team News

Brest defender Ronael Pierre-Gabriel will sit this one out due to an accumulation of yellow cards, but Lilian Brassier is back from a ban of his own and should slot straight back into defence over Denys Bain.

The veteran Julien Faussurier could slot in at right-back while Pierre-Gabriel takes his place on the naughty step, while Jere Uronen has stepped up his recovery from an ankle injury but is unlikely to be ready just yet.

Romain Del Castillo is unlikely to be passed fit either, but Haris Belkebla, Steve Mounie and Lucien Agoume ought to be fine after returning from international duty earlier this week.

Reims forward Ekitike has been slapped with a two-game ban following his red card against Lens, so another starlet in 20-year-old El Bilal Toure could come in to lead the line.

One would not place any bets on Valon Berisha, Mathieu Cafaro and Moussa Doumbia returning to action just yet, and the same can be said for Fraser Hornby, while Arber Zeneli is a long-term absentee.

Alexis Flips started his first game of the season in the defeat to Lens, but Moreto Cassama will be pushing for a recall here, as will 19-year-old attacker Nathanael Mbuku over Mitchell van Bergen.

Brest possible starting lineup:
Bizot; Faussurier, Chardonnet, Brassier, Duverne; Honorat, Agoume, Belkebla, Faivre; Mounie, Cardona

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Foket, Faes, Abdelhamid, Konan; Munetsi, Matusiwa, Flips; Kebbal, Toure, Mbuku

We say: Brest 2-2 Reims

Both managers ought to believe that three points is theirs for the taking on Sunday, with Brest continually struggling to perform at home while Reims seek to end a rut on the road.

Les Pirates always know where the back of the net is, but Reims' youthful attacking forces often have a goal or two in them as well, so we can see an entertaining affair ending with the spoils shared.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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