Preview: Clermont vs. Metz – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash between Clermont and Metz, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Clermont and Metz will both be looking to earn their first maximums of the 2023-24 Ligue 1 campaign when they meet at Stade Gabriel Montpied on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts are sitting bottom of the early-season standings having lost their last two matches, while Metz are hovering above the relegation zone heading into this clash.

Match preview

Clermont coach Pascal Gastien on February 6, 2022© Reuters

Along with Nantes and Lyon, Clermont are the only side in Ligue 1 yet to collect a point in the new season, having suffered back-to-back defeats at the beginning of the term.

Last time out saw Clermont travel to Will Still‘s Reims, where goals from Marshall Munetsi and Mohamed Daramy were enough to hand the Red and Whites all three points.

Stade Gabriel Montpied was treated to a six-goal thriller on the opening day of the season, however visitors Monaco made the net ripple on four occasions, meaning Pascal Gastien‘s men got their campaign off to a less than ideal start.

The Lancers’ eighth-placed finish in Ligue 1 last term was their best in over a decade, with the aim this time around to challenge for the top six and a place in European football.

Clermont were not the most potent outfit on home soil last season, scoring just 20 goals in 19 matches at Stade Gabriel Montpied, with only the relegated trio of Auxerre, AC Ajaccio and Troyes managing less in front of their own supporters.

Boubacar Traore in action for Metz against Paris Saint-Germain in May 2022.© Reuters

Metz are back in the top tier of French football following a one-year absence after they finished second in Ligue 2, with champions Le Havre earning three more points over the course of the term.

Le Grenats were the opening weekend’s biggest losers after falling to a 5-1 defeat at Rennes, however a home clash last Friday against Marseille provided more reason for optimism.

Goals from Cheikh Sabaly and Georges Mikautadze had Laszlo Boloni‘s men ahead in the second period, although a 82nd-minute Emran Soglo strike forced a share of the spoils at Stade Saint-Symphorien.

Metz were the second tier’s most lethal attack in 2022-23, scoring 61 times in just 38 matches, and the aforementioned Mikautadze will be hoping to continue the form which saw him bag 23 league goals last term.

Sunday’s fixture has mostly been constrained to Ligue 2 over the past decade, however the last two encounters have been in Ligue 1, with both ending in a share of the points.

Clermont Ligue 1 form:

Metz Ligue 1 form:

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Team News

Clermont players celebrates their first goal, an own goal scored by RC Lens' Salis Abdul Samed on November 12, 2022© Reuters

Clermont are set to remain without the services of Kosovo international Elbasan Rashani until early next month, with the attacking midfielder recovering from a muscle injury sustained in pre-season.

Maximiliano Caufriez is another name who has not featured on the hosts’ team sheet so far this campaign, and the centre-back will miss Sunday’s match due to an ankle injury.

Metz have a pair of disciplinary issues ahead of their trip to Clermont this weekend including Ababacar Lo, with the defender starting his three-game suspension for his straight red card in the draw against Marseille last time out.

Kevin N’Doram is facing a potential 10-game ban after using a homophobic slur during a half-time interview, with a disciplinary commission meeting on August 30 to discuss the case.

Clermont possible starting lineup:
Diaw; Seidu, Wieteska, Pelmard; Zeffane, Gonalons, Gastien, Borges; Saracevic, Allevinah, Kyei

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Colin, Traore, Kouao, Cande; Jacques, N’Doram, Mbaye, Maziz, Sabaly; Mikautadze

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We say: Clermont 1-1 Metz

Clermont are struggling defensively at the beginning of this campaign, and the visit of last season’s top scorers in Ligue 2 on Sunday may not come at the best time for the hosts.

Even whilst playing with 10 men for the majority of the second half, Metz were competitive against Marseille and should be good enough for a point this weekend.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

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