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Oct 17, 2021 at 12pm UK
Balde (4')
Kouame (36'), Batlles (37'), Biancone (73')
FT(HT: 1-0)

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

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

Two sides competing at opposite ends of the table meet in Ligue 1 action on Sunday, with Troyes hosting Nice at the Stade de l'Aube.

The hosts find themselves struggling just outside the relegation places after promotion to the top flight last year, whereas the visitors are back on the right track in a Champions League place under their new manager as things stand.

Match preview

As mentioned above, life in Ligue 1 has not started too brightly for the newly-promoted Troyes up to this point, with just the one victory from the opening nine matches to show for their efforts.

As a result, this weekend's hosts are currently sitting in 17th place, level on points with Metz in the relegation playoff spot, with an immediate return to Ligue 2 a real possibility if things are to continue in the same manner.

Being the joint-lowest scorers across the entire division, with a tally of just eight goals, makes it clear where the immediate concerns will lie for manager Laurent Batlles and his side.

In fact, the only match that his team has managed to net more than once in a single game this campaign so far arrived in the sole victory away to fellow-strugglers Metz - a 2-0 triumph in September.

Prior to the international break, ESTAC fell 2-0 at the hands of Nantes, despite a spirited performance, which meant that they were perhaps unfortunate to come away from the game with nothing to show for it, after having the higher number and quality of chances during the fixture.

However, the lack of clinical finishing in the final third proved costly yet again, which will need to be addressed soon if Troyes are to avoid an immediate return to the second tier.

Meanwhile, the visitors are in complete opposite spirits heading into Sunday's fixture, with five wins from their opening eight fixtures propelling Nice into third place as things stand.

As well as currently occupying a Champions League spot, the Eaglets find themselves in a good place due to an impressive summer of recruitment, both in terms of coaching staff and playing staff.

Last season's title-winning manager Christophe Galtier arrived from champions Lille, whist the likes of Calvin Stengs, Justin Kluivert, Andy Delort, Jean-Clair Todibo and Mario Lemina have all been brought in to form an impressive roster of players available for the push for a return to European football.

A poor 1-0 defeat away to Lorient has been the only setback so far, but bouncing back from that with back-to-back wins over Saint-Etienne and Brest prior to the international break has ensured that Galtier's men have got back on track immediately.

The new forward partnership of Delort and Amine Gouiri has proven key to the success so far this season, with nine league goals already being netted between the pair, as well as a handful of assists for others too.

The duo will be licking their lips at the thought of their struggling opponents on Sunday, who Nice have not faced for three-and-a-half years.

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

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

Team News

The home side will welcome back the duo of Giulian Biancone and Jimmy Giraudon from suspension on Sunday, but Gerson Rodrigues will miss out through a suspension of his own after his red card against Angers.

The defensive pair should immediately slot back into the backline, but fellow defender Adil Rami remains a doubt after failing to feature for his new side so far.

Midfielder Karim Azamoum also remains a doubt since coming off injured in the defeat at Lyon in September.

As for Nice, the forward trio of Kluivert, Alexis Claude-Maurice and Kasper Dolberg remain out injured for the trip to Troyes.

The only change that is expected to be made by Galtier is at right-back, where the previously-suspended Youcef Atal should return to the starting lineup in place of Jordan Lotomba.

Troyes possible starting lineup:
Gallon; Biancone, Giraudon, Salmier; Kabore, Kouame, Chavalerin, Kone; Balde, Ripart; Touzghar

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Atal, Todibo, Dante, Bard; Stengs, Rosario, Lemina, Kamara; Delort, Gouiri

We say: Troyes 0-2 Nice

Factoring in the struggles of the home side with the success of the visitors so far during the early stages of this season, it is difficult to see past an away win for Nice on Sunday.

They should manage to achieve a fairly comfortable victory against their goal-shy opponents, and continue from where they left off before the international break in their search for European football, whilst condemning the hosts to another miserable match back in the top flight.

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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