Nantes VS Marseille - France Ligue 1, Match Preview

Match Time:2/20/2021 23:59 Saturday  (GMT+8)

France Ligue 1 --  Nantes   VS   Marseille

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Nantes and Marseille will both be aiming to build on hugely impressive Ligue 1 victories last time out when they do battle at the Stade de la Beaujoire on Saturday afternoon.

 

Antoine Kombouare kicked off his reign as Nantes manager in perfect fashion with a 3-1 triumph over Angers, while Marseille enjoyed a 3-2 midweek win over Nice to end their own barren spell.

 

Match preview

Raymond Domenech tried and failed to arrest Nantes's worrying slump in Ligue 1, but it took Kombouare a mere matter of days to propel Les Canaris to their first victory since November 8 in his first game in charge.

 

Before travelling to Angers last Sunday, Nantes had gone 16 games without a win in all competitions - 15 in Ligue 1, the longest such streak of any team in the top flight - but Les Canaris were ruthless at the Stade Raymond Kopa as Imran Louza, Moses Simon and Abdoul Kader Bamba all chipped in with goals on the day.

 

That long-awaited triumph has helped propel Nantes further away from the automatic relegation places, but with most of their rivals also picking up victories at the weekend, the 18th-placed Canaris remain one point adrift of safety due to Lorient's recent upturn in form.

 

Having managed to make his first away outing a trip to remember, former Paris Saint-Germain and Dijon manager Kombouare will now be tasked with ending his side's 10-game winless run on home soil, with their last victory at the Stade de la Beaujoire coming against Brest on October 10.

 

The Canaris faithful will be praying that their triumph at Angers will be the one that turns the corner, but the hosts have only managed to keep a solitary clean sheet on familiar territory all season, and Marseille appear to have found their shooting boots at the ideal time for Nasser Larguet. The smile on Saif-Eddine Khaoui's face said it all as his brace helped Marseille to a 3-2 win over Nice in their rearranged midweek fixture - the Tunisian's first ever goals for the club since completing his move to the Orange Velodrome in 2016.

 

The outcome could have been completely different had Amine Gouiri's last-minute free kick not cannoned back off the post and Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, but Les Olympiens nevertheless managed to halt a seven-game winless run in the league as Alvaro Gonzalez also helped himself to a goal on the night. Nasser Larguet may have cut a more stoic figure on the touchline, but even he must have been able to force a grin as his much-changed side won one of the two games in hand they have over the teams above them, with 19-year-old Luis Henrique also earning plaudits for his performance on the left-hand side during a rare start.

 

That victory on Wednesday evening propelled Marseille up to seventh in the Ligue 1 table and they are only one point adrift of fifth-placed Rennes, so a spot in Europe is still very much a possibility if the win over Nice can act as a catalyst for a turnaround in fortunes.

 

Les Olympiens eased to a 3-1 win over Nantes back when Andre Villas-Boas was in charge, but with both teams finally managing to end disheartening winless runs last time out, fans should expect a much more closely-fought and fiery encounter at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

 

Nantes Ligue 1 form: DLLDLW

Nantes form (all competitions): LLDLLW

 

Marseille Ligue 1 form: LLDLDW

Marseille form (all competitions): LDLWDW

 

Team News

Nantes manager Kombouare has no reason whatsoever to make any alterations to his side after their winless run finally came to an end, but Bamba will hope to have come into the manager's thinking after his goal as a substitute against Angers.

 

Fabio and Kalifa Coulibaly remain sidelined for the hosts, but Kombouare is hopeful that the duo will return before the end of the month.

 

Midfielder Abdoulaye Toure lasted just 45 minutes against Angers before Kombouare had seen enough, and the 26-year-old's spot could be under threat from Batista Mendy here.

 

Marseille defender Leonardo Balerdi has served a one-game suspension after seeing red in the draw with Bordeaux, but Dario Benedetto faces another two games out after also being given his marching orders last weekend.

 

However, Balerdi is unlikely to force his way back into the defence now that Alvaro Gonzalez and Duje Caleta-Car are both fit and well again, while Pol Lirola and Olivier Ntcham are both available after missing out against Nice through ineligibility.

 

Arkadiusz Milik would have been forced to sit out the win over Nice as well due to his status as a January arrival, but the Polish striker is still nursing a thigh injury.

 

Larguet has some big calls to make after a number of fringe players staked their claims for regular starting roles in midweek, but Valentin Rongier and Florian Thauvin should come back in regardless.

 

Nantes possible starting lineup:

Lafont; Corchia, Girotto, Castelletto, Traore; Blas, Toure, Chirivella, Louza; Simon, Kolo Muani

 

Marseille possible starting lineup:

Mandanda; Lirola, Gonzalez, Caleta-Car, Amavi; Kamara, Rongier; Thauvin, Khaoui, Payet; Germain

 

Prediction:Nantes 1-2 Marseille

Nantes VS Marseille - France Ligue 1, Match Preview

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