Competition: France Ligue 1 2016-17
Date: Saturday, 18th February, 19:00 GMT
Stadium: Stade Yves Allainmat – Le Moustoir.

Lorient vs Nice Preview and Prediction

Nice will be hoping to keep up the pressure on Monaco and PSG at the top of Ligue 1 this weekend when they visit lowly Lorient. But they will probably be without former Inter Milan and Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli who is set to miss the game through illness. Italy international Balotelli has scored 9 times already this season in a concerted effort to rehabilitate his career, but Nice will look to Alassane Plea, who himself has found the net 9 times, to get the goals in this one.

Currently third in the table, Nice have been solid away from home, where they have lost just twice during 2016/17. A total of 13 points ahead of fourth-placed Lyon (who have a game in hand), they look set to take the third Champions League place for next season. Realistically, they are not expected to win the title and now find themselves 5 points behind Monaco after Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Rennes. Either way, they look set to have had a fantastic season which they can build on.

Meanwhile, despite a solid run of results Lorient still find themselves on the bottom of the table. They are only 4 points from safety and have had some encouraging wins since the festive period over Lille, Guingamp and St Etienne. Equally, the teams around them look better equipped to escape the drop. Majeed Waris and Benjamin Moukandjo have 7 goals each to their names, but it is the defence that is the main problem, Lorient shipping a massive 51 goals already in 2016/17.

We expect Nice to win this game but it will be a close-run thing as they are not blessed with an abundance of goals in their team. Back Nice not to keep a clean sheet which is priced at 3/10 with bet365.

Free Football betting tips every day for your chance to win big!
Nice won the reverse fixture back in October 2-1 with Mario Balotelli scoring a late winner.
Nice have won 42% of their away games this season, while Lorient have won the same percentage of league matches at home.

Winger Sylvian Marveaux and attacker Jerome Aliadiere are expected to miss this game through injury.

A big blow for Nice could see the club’s second top scorer Mario Balotelli ruled out of the game through illness.

Our correct score prediction is a 2-1 victory for Nice