Nantes will host Stade Reims at the Stade de la Beaujoire on Sunday in the Ligue 1.
Both sides have enjoyed a good start to the season. Nantes are in seventh place, but just two points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain. Only two points separate the top nine teams in the table at the moment. They lost their first game of the season to Lille. But since then, Nantes have picked up seven points out of a possible nine. A 2-1 win over Amiens followed a goalless draw with Marseille. In their last game, Nantes claimed a 1-0 win over Montpellier.
After finishing 12th last season, Nantes will hope to breach the top half this time. Their start bodes well for the same. However, all of their wins so far have been by a close margin. Against Montpellier, Abdoulaye Toure scored in the 84th minute to hand his side a 1-0 win. Nantes had the upper hand throughout the game, but they failed to break the deadlock until Toure scored. Nantes had seven shots on target in the game compared to just one from Montpellier.
In both their wins so far, Nantes have had to rely on late goals for the three points. They need to support striker Kalifa Coulibaly, who opened his account for the season against Amiens. Manager Christian Gourcuff is in his first season at the club, and the start has been positive. Improving on last season’s finish would surely translate into a successful season for him.
Reims have continued to impress after surprising many people last season. Despite being promoted, they finished in ninth place last season. After four games in the current campaign, they are in sixth place. Reims opened their season with a gutsy 2-0 win away to Marseille. Boulaye Dia and Suk Hyun-jun scored in a tough away match-up.
The following two games were sub-par performances, as Reims picked up just one point. A goalless draw against Strasbourg was followed by a loss against promoted side Brest. However, they bounced back the following week to win 2-0 against Lille. Moussa Doumbia and Remi Oudin netted the goals to hand Reims their second win of the season. Lille dominated the possession in that game, but Reims were clinical and got the three points.
Head-To-HeadEmbed from Getty Images
Reims’ strength is their defense, and they have kept three clean sheets already this season. The head to head clashes between these two sides don’t have many goals in general. They faced each other twice last season, and only one goal was scored. Reims won the previous encounter 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Remi Oudin. A similar pattern should be seen at the Stade de la Beaujoire on Sunday.
Nantes vs Stade Reims Prediction
The game will be tight, and the total goals should be under 2.5. Reims will be the slight favorite to pick up a narrow win. Nantes are high in the table, but they have looked shaky in most of their games. Reims should pick up their third win of the season by a close margin.