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Jan 16, 2022 at 2pm UK

Locko (24'), Lopy (50'), Foket (80'), Rajkovic (85')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Niane (61')
Delaine (19'), Niakate (28'), Pajot (45'), Niane (83')

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

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

Two teams in the bottom half of the Ligue 1 table will compete this Sunday when 14th-placed Reims host Metz, who currently find themselves in the relegation zone.

The hosts are undefeated in their previous five outings across all competitions, while their opponents are without a win in three.

Match preview

Reims might find themselves in the bottom half of the table at the moment, but they did end 2021 in fine form, which is something they have continued into the New Year.

The squad have now gone five games in a row without a defeat across all competitions, and impressively they have earned four clean sheets across that period.

Defensively, the group have showcased their qualities, which they will be aiming to continue this Sunday, although Metz have actually scored more goals than them this season.

Reims drew 0-0 in their recent outing against Clermont, but it is a result that Oscar Garcia will actually have been frustrated by due to the fact that their opponents spent the majority of the game with 10 men after a red card in the 14th minute.

With a victory having the potential to see them climb up to 11th in the table, there is plenty of incentive for the squad heading into this one, especially with a tougher fixture against Paris Saint-Germain looming.

Metz find themselves 19th in the table at the moment, but despite being in the relegation zone they do have the chance to break out of the bottom three with a win this weekend.

This would depend on other results as well, but if they can play their part, then the club could climb as high as 15th, which would put some distance between them and the danger spots.

Goals have been hard to come by as of late for the team, scoring only six in as many fixtures, with the team failing to find the back of the net in three of those.

That included their most recent outing when they were defeated 2-0 by Strasbourg, as Metz only managed a single shot on target throughout the 90 minutes.

The squad will also take confidence from the fact they were able to earn a point the last time they faced Reims as they earned a point after Habib Maiga scored an equaliser to secure a 1-1 result.

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

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

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

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

Team News

Reims continue to be without El Bilal Toure, Moreto Cassama, Moussa Doumbia and Ghislain Konan due to the Africa Cup Of Nations, with all four men representing their international teams at the moment.

Arber Zeneli is also not an option due to an ACL injury, but Garcia will be able to welcome back Hugo Ekitike after his red card suspension has been served.

Lenny Joseph, Papa Ndiaga Yade and Opa Nguette could all be able to return to the Metz squad this weekend if they can provide negative COVID-19 results due to their recent positive cases.

Meanwhile, the squad is without seven players due to the ongoing Africa Cup Of Nations, which has stretched them, but Vincent Pajot will be an option following his suspension.

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Abdelhamid, Faes, Gravillon; Locko, Lopy, Flips, Foket; Adeline, Mbuku; Koffi

Metz possible starting lineup:
Caillard; Delaine, Mbengue, Kana-Biyik, Jemerson, Mikelbrencis; Pajot, Traore, Tchimbembe; Niane, Nguette

We say: Reims 1-0 Metz

While a victory could take Metz out of the relegation zone, they come up against a team in fine form as they attempt to do that, making this a difficult fixture.

Reims will be hoping to continue their impressive performances as of late, and while they might struggle for goals as a group, they do not concede many, which should help them earn three points here.

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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