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Nov 21, 2021 at 4pm UK
Ogier (17')
Abdul Samed (53')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Gouiri (76', 82')
Gouiri (32'), Rosario (53'), Lemina (65'), Delort (79')

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

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

Clermont and Nice will both endeavour to return to winning ways during Sunday's Ligue 1 clash at the Stade Gabriel-Montpied.

The newly-promoted hosts were stunned by Saint-Etienne in a 3-2 defeat before the international break, while Nice went down 1-0 to Montpellier HSC.

Match preview

After Mohamed Bayo and Jason Berthomier had put Clermont two goals to the good against basement boys Saint-Etienne, Pascal Gastien could have been forgiven for expecting his side to run out comfortable winners at an empty Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

However, the introduction of Arnaud Nordin sparked new life into Saint-Etienne, as the attacker reduced the deficit in the 78th minute before a pair of his corners met the heads of Jean-Philippe Krasso and Saidou Sow to complete a remarkable comeback.

Gastien's men were left shell-shocked after entering second-half injury time holding on to a 2-1 lead, but an inability to defend set-pieces bedevilled them as they slumped to a third defeat in succession in the top flight.

Clermont impressed with a solid start to life in the big time but have slowly tailed off - winning just one of their last 11 in the league, a 1-0 success over champions Lille - and their dismal losing streak has seen them slip to 15th in the table, just one point above the bottom three.

Twenty-six goals conceded - at an average rate of two per game - is not all that surprising for a side who plied their trade in the second tier 12 months ago, but they have only shipped seven of those goals at home and will harbour hopes of springing a surprise against Nice.

While Clermont came out on the wrong end of the scoreline just before the international break, Nice also fell to a somewhat surprising defeat in front of their own fans as Montpellier took all three points home from their trip to the Allianz Riviera.

Florent Mollet struck his fourth goal of the season with 80 minutes on the clock to propel La Paillade to a hard-fought success, inflicting Nice's first home defeat of the season upon them in the process and halting Christophe Galtier's momentum again.

Despite winning just two of their last five games in the top flight, Nice remain in the top three but are hanging on to their position by a thread, as Marseille sit level with Les Aiglons and fifth-placed Rennes are just one point adrift of Galtier's men.

The title-winning coach has also seen his side make a habit of winning one then losing one away from home in recent weeks - most recently prevailing 2-1 at the home of Angers - and their Champions League credentials will certainly be called into question should they suffer defeat to Clermont.

However, three goals conceded on the road is the best defensive tally in the league, and Nice will be locking horns with Clermont for only the second time, with the inaugural meeting in the 1996-97 Coupe de France quarter-finals ending in a 2-1 success for Les Aiglons.

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

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

Team News

Clermont attacker Mohamed Bayo has found himself back in the first XI despite his recent drink-driving accident, with the Brighton & Hove Albion-linked forward set to lead the line again.

Johan Gastien will return from suspension for this clash, but Cedric Hountondji is set to miss out with a groin injury sustained in the defeat to Saint-Etienne, joining Yohann Magnin in the infirmary.

Gastien's return could see Salis Abdul Samed drop out of the XI, while Jean-Claude Billong ought to deputise at the back for the injured Hountondji.

As for Nice, veteran defender Dante will be forced to sit this one out due to an accumulation of yellow cards, with Flavius Daniliuc set to deputise alongside Jean-Clair Todibo.

The luckless Youcef Atal had to be taken off after 58 minutes against Montpellier with a muscle problem and is set for another couple of weeks on the sidelines, where he joins Melvin Bard, Amine Gouiri, Hicham Boudaoui, Robson Bambu and Justin Kluivert for the injury-hit visitors.

Galtier's hand is therefore forced in some areas of the pitch, but Kasper Dolberg and Andy Delort are still able to form a potent partnership in the final third of the field, while Gouiri and Bard are thought to have chances of being available.

Clermont possible starting lineup:
Desmas; Zedadka, Ogier, Billong, N'Simba; Gastien, Iglesias; Allevinah, Berthomier, Rashani; Bayo

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Lotomba, Todibo, Daniliuc, Kamara; Da Cunha, Thuram, Rosario, Claude-Maurice; Dolberg, Delort

We say: Clermont 0-2 Nice

Clermont may sense a rare opportunity to get one over a Galtier-led side given Nice's mounting injury problems, and the hosts have proven to be far better defensively on home soil.

Les Aiglons are equally, if not more, impressive in their defensive third away from home, though, and even if Gouiri is not able to lead the charge from the off, we are still backing Nice to return to winning ways.

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