Nantes-Toulouse: For all the marbles

Publish on 30/05/2021 at 09:00 - S. WILLIS


FC Nantes boss Antoine Kombouaré has called on fans to show their support outside the Stade de la Beaujoire as Les Canaris look to drive home the advantage in the return leg of their relegation play-off with Toulouse after claiming a 2-1 win in the first leg on Thursday.

Ligue 1 Uber Eats Play-offs, return leg

Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes

FC Nantes - Toulouse FC

- Kick off at 17:00 GMT

At this last, last-gasp stage of the season, it's no longer about playbooks and formations and the finer calculations: it's all about heart and FC Nantes boss Antoine Kombouaré is looking for the club's fans to show theirs and help their side over the line against a Toulouse team who would take their place in the country's top flight.

Kombouaré: 'Many people love this club'

"If the fans are behind us, we will be very happy," said Antoine Kombouaré in the pre-match presser after urging the club's fans to meet the team bus outside the tunnel leading into the Stade de la Beaujoire. "The players are waiting for a strong sign from the fans, those who love the club. If they get out there to show their support, it can help the players. It's true that this club is much maligned, but many people love this club and want to come and support it. It can help the players to turn in a great performance. "

After Ludovic Blas and Randal Kolo Muani struck to clinch a 2-1 win in the first leg in Toulouse on Thursday, Nantes - a big club with a massive history of success, innovation and beautiful attacking football - are in the driver's seat. But it wouldn't take much for Toulouse to get back into the tie.

Garande: 'Pull off something amazing'

Patrice Garande's side had the best attack in Ligue 2 BKT last season, banging home 71 goals in 38 matches, and there can be little doubt that Le Téfécé are headed to Nantes decidedly on the front foot, with a apace among the country's top teams in their sights.

"You can't imagine for a moment that we're going to Nantes to take a walk. I think we have a chance to pull off something amazing," said the former Caen coach, for whom defender Devier Machado smashed home a screamer from range in the first leg. "We have to put ourselves in a position to do it. You have to prepare for an exploit. You prepare by analysing what happened in the first leg and, as far as we are concerned, we have to play at our level."

Probable teams

FC Nantes:
Lafont (c); Appiah, Castelletto, Pallois, Traoré; Blas, Louza, Chirivella, Simon; Coulibaly, Kolo Muani

Toulouse FC:
Dupé; Diakité, Amian, Gabrielsen (c); Moreira, Koné, Spierings, Dejeagere, Machado; Adli, Bayo

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