Ligue 1 Preview: Newly promoted Nantes to vie against Lorient

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Updated: August 15, 2013

Lorient Stadium

 

The newest Ligue 2 third placers—and football betting favorites—are making an impressive season debut in this year’s new installment of Ligue 1. Nantes (Les Canaris), fresh from their promotion from the French second-tier football to the highest league, won over Bastia 2-0 at the kick-off of the tournament last August 11. For their second appearance in the competition, the Michel Der Zakarian-backed side will be vying against Ligue 1 2012-13 eighth placers, Lorient (Les Merlus). The match will be held on August 18 at the latter’s home court, Stade Yves Allainmat-Le Moustoir.

 

While they were initially touted to have a difficult stay in Ligue 1, Nantes prove that emerging from the lower football division does not equate to becoming an underdog in the top level. Their win over Bastia raised the brows of the opponents’ supporters, and analysts alike were surprised with the impressive outcome. However, recent reports seem to spoil Les Canaris’ victory, in that Bastia are alleging their rivals of using an unqualified member as replacement player. But allegations aside, Nantes were agile enough to carry the day with goals scored from legitimate players, Georges-Kevin N’Koudou and Filip Đorđević.

 

Lorient’s form is not showing any sign of progress. Of their five latest matches, the team only managed to win once (against Sochaux in a friendly battle). Another match was a draw (with Brest 1-1), while the remaining three were sorry defeats—including their opening match in the Ligue 1 new season against Lille 0-1 (the other two were in the friendlies, against Metz 0-1 and Rennes 1-4). Les Merlus’ mid-table placement last season is in danger of plummeting this year. However, the tournament just opened and there is still an ample time to make some improvements.

 

They may have just been promoted to League 1, but Nantes are keen to make a clean record in the tally board. They will probably win over Lorient, but they are also faced with a silent revenge from their opponents at the same time.

 

 

Lorient’s home court | Image source: info-stades.fr