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

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

Lorient will look to put an end to a run of eight games without a win in Ligue 1 on Wednesday, when they travel to take on Troyes.

Despite their struggles, the visitors sit two points better off than their opponents, who find themselves level with Clermont in the bottom three.

Match preview

Troyes have had to endure a tough start to the Ligue 1 season following their promotion last term, but they looked to have turned a corner with back-to-back wins and a draw against Rennes to move onto 13 points from 12 games.

That has not produced the desired long-term improvement though, with ESTAC having now lost each of their last three games, starting with a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Lens before the recent international break.

Laurent Batlles's side then suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat to fellow strugglers Saint-Etienne in the first game back, before being beaten by the same scoreline by Marseille last time out.

Troyes looked to have gone a long way to earning a valuable point in a goalless draw, but the hosts eventually took a lead through Pol Lirola in the final 15 minutes and held on to earn the victory.

That leaves Batlles's men in 17th spot with just a one-point lead over the automatic drop zone, and they will be desperate to put a victory on the board on Wednesday to improve their position.

They will likely see Wednesday as a good opportunity to do so, given Lorient's poor run of form in the top flight.

Les Merlus enjoyed a relatively strong start to the new campaign, earning 11 points from the opening eight games, but draws with Lyon and Clermont, initially taking an unbeaten run to six games, have since become the foundations for a streak of eight league outings without a win.

Following a heavy defeat to Marseille and a draw with Bordeaux, Christophe Pelissier's side have had to endure a run of four straight defeats in league action, firstly being thrashed 4-0 by Strasbourg and narrowly beaten 2-1 by Brest.

Upon their return to action after the break, Les Merlus were edged out by Angers before suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Rennes last time out, with Gaetan Laborde and Jeremy Doku netting the decisive goals in the final 15 minutes.

As a result of their sharp dip in form, Lorient have dropped within three points of the bottom two, and they will know they need to put an end to their losing run sooner rather than later if they are to preserve their top-flight status this season.

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

Lorient Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

After a relatively commendable performance against a high-flying Marseille side, Troyes should not panic and make too many changes for Wednesday, with Batlles instead expected to trust his core of key players.

Winger Mama Balde returned to the squad from an injury last time out, leaving Karim Azamoum as the only expected absentee.

Yoann Touzghar should continue to lead the line with the support of the returning Balde, who has three league goals to his name this season.

Lorient continue to battle with several injury issues, as Vincent Le Goff, Fabien Lemoine, Moritz Jenz and Jeremy Morel are all set to continue spells on the sidelines.

Thomas Monconduit did recently make a return though, and he could again start in the engine room alongside Laurent Abergel and Enzo Le Fee.

Troyes possible starting lineup:
Gallon; Rami, Giraudon, Salmier; Kabore, Kouame, Tardieu, Biancone; Rodrigues, Touzghar, Balde

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Mendes, Laporte, Petrot; Carioca, Monconduit, Abergel, Le Fee, Loric; Grbic, Lauriente

We say: Troyes 1-1 Lorient

With the two teams devoid of confidence and struggling for form, we predict a cagey encounter on Wednesday and expect it to finish level.

While the visitors' form is noticeably poor, they meet a Troyes side in a slump of their own, and Pelissier's side should, at least, be able to arrest their losing run.

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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