Two teams hoping to push for European place lock horns in Ligue 1 on Sunday, as Nice hosts Lorient at the Allianz Riviera.
Nice have been in great form in 2023, going on one of the best-undefeated streaks in Europe. Since losing in the French Cup in early January, the French Riviera outfit have played 11 games in all competitions without being defeated. In that time, Didier Digard’s side have picked up big wins against the likes of Marseille, Rens, and Lille in the league, as well as progressing into the round of 16 in the UEFA Conference League – with the quarter-finals looking likely.
The INEOS-owned side currently have a 1-0 lead over Sheriff ahead of their last 16 tie, with the likes of West Ham and Villarreal possible opponents for the quarters. Last time out in the league, Nice took the lead on two occasions away to Nantes, before the hosts came back twice to rescue a late point.
Digard’s men are seventh in the league, 11 points behind Rennes who occupy that third Champions League qualification place. The Champions League may be a bit far off, but eight points the difference to Monaco in fourth, four points adrift of Rennes in fifth.
Lorient are also in with a chance of a late push towards the top five, currently just two places below Nice in ninth. Both teams are level on points, with Nice edging it on goal difference. It means that a win for Lorient would be enough to see them leapfrog their opponents on Sunday.
Les Merlus have had a mixed few weeks in Ligue 1. Fabrice Loher’s side suffered a disappointing defeat at home to relegation contenders Auxerre, before going on to draw with Lyon in a 0-0 stalemate. Last weekend Lorient returned to winning ways at home to Troyes with a 2-0 win against the team second-from-bottom.
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