Soccer France Ligue 1 - 18 March 2023
Lyon vs Nantes - Match Preview
Mid-table Lyon were on the cusp of suffering their tenth Ligue 1 loss last weekend - as many defeats as in the whole of last season - but two late strikes from Alexandre Lacazette secured a point from their trip to Lille (3-3). Coach Laurent Blanc might have stated that he had "an excellent evening" post-match, but just one win across their last four league outings (D2, L1) suggests there is little to celebrate with the side starting the round seven points adrift of the top-five.
A return to Groupama Stadium will be most welcome then, as the hosts have lost just three league games there this campaign (W6, D4), with no Ligue 1 team conceding fewer than their ten home league goals in 2022/23. Therefore Lyon might have that ‘Friday feeling’ again, as it's also impressively been over four years since they lost a home league game played on a Friday (W10, D4)!
It’s proving to be a torrid campaign for Nantes, who enter this game with just one win from their previous seven competitive matches (D2, L4), bookended by a 2-2 draw against Nice last time out. Coach Antoine Kombouaré recently demanded improved displays “if they want to qualify for the Coupe de France final” with Nantes and Lyon meeting again in the semi-finals in three weeks’ time.
But sitting just six points above the relegation zone ahead the round, getting an immediate result and raising their performances away from home in the league appears vital for Nantes, considering that the three teams which have registered less than their 11 points on the road (W2, D5, L7) currently sit in the bottom four. They might struggle however, as this duel between two former PSG coaches has often gone Blanc's way with six wins in nine managerial H2Hs (D1, L2).
📋 Players to watch: Lyon’s winter signing Amin Sarr has led his team to victory in his last seven goalscoring appearances, with all matches featuring over 2.5 goals. Aiming to eclipse him, Nantes’ joint-top scorer Mostafa Mohamed has scored all his six league goals this season after half-time.
⚡ Hot stat: Only one of the previous 14 H2Hs held here have ended in draw (Lyon: W12, L1).
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