Preview - Metz vs Nantes March 18 2018

Started by Harry85, Mar 17, 2018, 10:15 AM

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Harry85

Metz: 
Last five matches form: L L D D L
Average goals per match: 0.9
Average goals against per match: 1.9
Top Scorer: Nolan Roux (11)

Nantes:
Last five matches form: D D L D W
Average goals per match: 1.0
Average goals against per match: 1.0
Top Scorer: Emiliano Sala (12)

Julian Palmieri misses out for the home side through suspension. Likewise, Andrei Girotto for Nantes. Other than those absentees there are no significant new injuries for either side.

The situation facing rock bottom Metz is beginning to look increasingly dire. A run of 14 defeats from their opening 16 Ligue 1 matches was nothing short of disastrous, and whilst they have picked up recently - winning four of their last 12 - they remain eight points adrift of safety with only nine games remaining. Every game is a cup final for Metz now, but they don't look good enough to win enough of them.

Nantes are the equivalent of Burnley in the English Premier League. They don't score many but don't concede many either and their current fifth position in the table is largely down to being extremely well organised and the excellent finishing of Emiliano Sala up front. 11 points off Lyon in fourth though, fifth looks like being as high as they will climb.

As solid as they are in general at the back, Nantes have only actually kept four clean sheets from 15 outings on their travels. Metz have been much improved on home soil in recent games, winning three of their last five and doing well to hold on for a draw when down to ten men against Toulouse. Metz belatedly do seem to have a bit of fight about them, and whilst it may be all too little too late, they can pick up a point here.

 Prediction: Metz 1 - 1 Nantes

Harry85

Half time: 1 - 1
Full time: 1 - 1
Shots: 8 - 16
Shots on target: 4 - 4
Corner Kicks: 3 - 4
Possession: 46% - 54%

Nantes kept their noses clean here, but the home sides Jonathan Rivierez and Fallou Diagne made their way into referee Benoit Millot's notebook.

Metz certainly started like a side desperately in need of the three points with Moussa Niakhate and Fallou Diagne forcing saves from Ciprian Tatarusanu in the opening ten minutes.

The home side didn't have to wait too much longer until they did take the lead. Danijel Milicevic swinging in the corner from the left hand side with Nolan Roux meeting the ball on the volley to smash into the net. An excellent finish and a deserved lead.

Falling behind seemed to spark Nantes into life and the visitors began to exert pressure of their own immediately after Roux's strike, Valentin Rongier forcing a save from Eiji Kawashima in the 16th minute.

The equaliser came soon after in the 23rd minute, and it was Rongier who inflicted the damage. Played in by Adrien Thomasson, Rongier levelled matters with a nice finish into the bottom left hand corner.

The second half was a much more subdued affair, with a lack of real attacking intent from both sides. With only two shots on target between them after the interval, it was no surprise to see this one peter out into a draw.

Not a great deal of use to either side this one. Nantes will view this as a missed opportunity to close the gap on the top four, a gap which realistically looks insurmountable now. Every point is a bonus when you are having the season Metz are having, but this still leaves Frédéric Hantz's men rock bottom and nine points adrift of safety. Wins are what is needed. And soon.

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