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Preview: Nantes vs. Marseille - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Fourth-placed Marseille travel north-west to the Stade de la Beaujoire to take on Nantes in Wednesday evening's Ligue 1 action.

The two sides are heading in opposite directions - the hosts are winless in four matches whilst their upcoming opponents are unbeaten in six.

Match preview

Nantes are enjoying a respectable mid-table ranking after last season's relegation dogfight, but they now find themselves with just two wins - over struggling Ligue 1 newcomers Troyes and Clermont - in their last eight games.

They are also without a clean sheet since that win over ESTAC back at the start of October, so Antoine Kombouare may need to reshuffle things at the back to avoid his side slipping further down the table and potentially finding themselves dragged into a battle at the bottom once again.

A 1-1 draw away against reigning champions Lille was a respectable result at the weekend, however - Ludovic Blas netted his seventh of the season to equalise in the 24th minute after Burak Yilmaz's early opener and Les Canaris held on until the final whistle.

They will have been relieved to do so, having played the final quarter of an hour with 10 men after Fabio Da Silva earned himself a red card and gave Lille a penalty, only for Ivo Grbic to produce a vital save.

That result also ended a five-match winning streak for Les Dogues at home to Nantes, and Kombouare's men will now face a team against which they have a far better record.

Perhaps surprisingly, Marseille have managed just one win during their previous six encounters with Nantes, and have tasted defeat on three occasions.

They have form on their side, however, having lost just once in their last nine games in all competitions, and overcame a trying week to narrowly beat Troyes on Sunday evening.

Jorge Sampaoli would maybe have expected a more convincing scoreline than 1-0 courtesy of a 74th-minute Pol Lirola goal against a side struggling near the bottom of the table, but considering what they had gone through in the seven days prior, the manager will probably take it.

First came their match against Lyon, which was abandoned after just five minutes of play when Dimitri Payet was once again hit by a bottle thrown from the stands. Despite an announcement over the stadium tannoy that the game would restart, the Marseille players were unwilling to return and the game was eventually called off almost two hours after it was initially halted.

Then on Thursday, Les Olympiens were beaten 4-2 by Galatasaray, which resulted in them crashing out of the Europa League. Sampaoli will hope for an easier week, starting with a win at Nantes.

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

Marseille Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

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

Team News

Nantes will be without Fabio after the aforementioned red card, whilst Charles Traore has been sidelined with illness.

Sebastien Corchia (hamstring), Renaud Emond (muscle) and Roli Pereira de Sa (collarbone) have also been ruled out through injuries.

For Marseille, Sampaoli will have a near-full squad to choose from, with Cengiz Under the only absence through a back injury.

Arkadiusz Milik will continue to lead the line in a 4-1-4-1 formation, supported by the ever-creative Payet.

Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Merlin, Girotto, Pallois, Appiah; Cyprien, Chirivella; Kolo Muani, Blas, Simon; Coulibaly

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Lopez; Peres, Saliba, Gonzalez, Rongier; Gueye; Guendouzi, Gerson, Lirola, Payet; Milik

We say: Nantes 1-2 Marseille

Marseille have probably overcome enough adversity during this season to convince them that nothing can stand in their way. Games involving Nantes tend to see both teams score so we are backing a 2-1 away win on this occasion.

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:curl

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