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Sep 17, 2021 at 8pm UK
Ajorque (6' pen.), Diallo (26', 40')
Ajorque (18'), Nyamsi (29')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Centonze (28'), Kouyate (44'), Traore (84'), Joseph (90+1')

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

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

Strasbourg welcome Metz to the Stade de la Meinau on Friday evening, as the sixth round of games in the developing Ligue 1 season kicks off.

Both sides have struggled somewhat up to now in this campaign and come into the game on the back of a loss last weekend.

Match preview

Strasbourg narrowly avoided relegation last season, finishing just two points above the bottom three, and their form so far this season indicates little has changed, despite the appointment of a new man in the dugout.

After Thierry Laurey's five-year stint came to an end, Julien Stephan was chosen as his replacement on the back of an impressive spell at Rennes, during which he brought the club their first trophy in 48 years.

Things at his new club got off to a poor start, though, with two losses in the opening two games - 2-0 to Angers and, more understandably, 4-2 to Paris Saint-Germain.

There were hints of progress after a draw with newly-promoted Troyes and finally a first win of the season at home to Brest before the international break, but les Coureurs came crashing back down to earth on Sunday.

Habib Diallo's 97th-minute penalty provided little consolation in a 3-1 loss away at Lyon, and Stephan's side now find themselves just one point above the relegation zone and in dire need of a second victory.

They stand a decent chance of achieving one, as their opposition are perhaps struggling even more this campaign.

After being promoted to Ligue 1 back in 2019, Metz have been fairly comfortable in France's top flight, but they are yet to pick up a win this season and sit 18th in the table.

Their previous game presented a good opportunity to pick up that first victory, at home to Ligue 1 new boys Troyes - who were also without a win - but Frederic Antonetti's side slumped to a 2-0 defeat.

Second-half goals from Gerson Rodrigues and Xavier Chavalerin lifted the visitors off the bottom of the table, and meant that Metz have now failed to win any of their last 11 home games.

Perhaps that means they will stand a better chance on the road at Strasbourg, but confidence in the camp appears low right now and they would probably settle for a fourth draw of the season.

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

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

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

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

Team News

Strasbourg will have right-back Karol Fila back after he served his suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards in the match against Lyon.

Ibrahima Sissoko's knee problem will keep him out of Friday's game, whilst Moise Sahi and Lebo Mothiba are also set to miss out through injury. Jean-Eudes Aholou has recovered and was fit for an appearance from the bench at the weekend, though.

Maxime Le Marchand, who arrived from Fulham over the summer, broke into the defensive line for the last game, but whether he did enough to retain his place during the loss remains to be seen.

Metz also have a fairly extensive injury list, with Farid Boulaya and Opa Nguette looking unlikely to have recovered from muscle injuries in time for the game, and long-term absences for Kevin N'Doram and Manuel Cabit.

Despite the fact that Pape Sarr joined Tottenham Hotspur at the end of the transfer window, the winger will still be available for Metz, after he rejoined the club on loan from the Premier League side for the remainder of the season.

Both sides look set to line up in a 3-5-2 formation.

Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Sels; Le Marchand, Perrin, Djiku; Lienard, Bellegarde, Thomasson, Prcic, Fila; Ajorque, Gameiro

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Bronn, Kouyate, Udol; Centonze, Maiga, Pajot, Delaine, Sarr; Gueye, Niane

We say: Strasbourg 2-1 Metz

Despite not having won any of their previous four Ligue 1 matches against Metz, we are backing Strasbourg - who tend to fare better at home than on their travels - to bounce back from their loss to Lyon with a narrow win.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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