Nice 0 - 0 Lyon

Match info: Ligue 1 at Municipal du Ray

Date: 18/05/2013 KO: 20:00 Ref:

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers




Postponed - now being played Sun, 19 May

  • Last Updated: May 17 2013, 14:32 BST

With just two games remaining in the Ligue 1 season, Nice trail visitors Lyon by just three points in the race for third and according to coach Claude Puel victory for the home side will allow them to "dream again".

Claude Puel: Hoping to clinch third spot in Ligue 1
Claude Puel: Hoping to clinch third spot in Ligue 1

Nice have been the league's surprise package after last season's 13th-placed finish and qualification for next season's Champions League is a real possibility.

Lille and St Etienne are also in the hunt for third and, although victory will not take them above Saturday's opponents due to their inferior goal difference, it will put them in a strong position ahead of their final game at Ajaccio.

"I would have preferred two (points between the sides), because, with a better goal difference, they remain ahead whatever the outcome of the game," Puel - who managed Lyon from 2008 to 2011 - told the club's official website.

"We always have a competitor in mind - we approach this game hoping to dream again. We'd love to offer our fans a great party."

Last week's game in Evian was anything but a celebration for Nice, who were thumped 4-0 by a side just two points above the drop zone.

But, despite that appalling result, Puel was positive about his team's showings and is adamant they have improved as the season has progressed.

"Indeed, we have experienced a lot of good things. The whole group has made good progress," he said.

"This season was full of emotions, all the players have given a lot. The players, of course, but also the staff and all components of the club, in unison."

Puel's opposite number Remi Garde could be without Samuel Umtiti who has a thigh injury, while Croatian defender Dejan Lovren is out with a knee problem.

Striker Jimmy Briand is however back in contention for a game from which the boss feels a draw would be a decent result.

"This is a very important game. Everyone knows the opportunities for each team," he told the club's website.

"The OGCN and OL are two teams looking to play. It should be a pretty open game. An electric encounter? I do not know. This may or may not be. There will be 11 players against 11 players as every game.

"A draw would not be a bad outcome."

And Garde does not believe coming against the man who was in his place before the summer will have any impact on the way he approaches the game, but conceded that may not be the case for Puel.

"It does not add spice for me... as for the club, I do not know," he added.

"Is it that he can use his case to motivate his group? I do not know. That may be the case. Me? We are not far from reaching our goal. This is a good reason to be motivated."

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