Disappointing display from Bastia last round away at Metz (lost 3-1). Even if overall Bastia had more possession they simply didn’t know what to do with the ball.
Upfront there were no clear solutions. Bastia aren’t able to get inside opponents’ penalty box and instead rely on long range attempts. But only rarely they get close to the target, like it happened last round when Tallo scored after an impressive volley from the edge of the box. But that was the only real dangerous opportunity Bastia had…
Play-maker Boudebouz is completely out-of-form and only starts on the bench nowadays, so they can’t hope for individual talent to make a difference anymore.
In the defensive phase the biggest problem is on the flanks where fullbacks are slow, uninspired and can be easily outplayed even with a simple line change. Especially Palmieri is a liability and against Nantes this will be a major setback as Palmieri’s direct opponent will be winger Gakpe.
Gakpe is by far Nantes’ most dangerous player due to the high levels of speed, ball control and vision. The battle Gakpe – Palmieri could be key in deciding the final outcome.
Nantes’ game improved considerably since the season started. They are more organized at the back and creative upfront. The only problem seems to be the lack of continuity as Nantes are happy give up initiative and only concentrate on defending, especially if they are in the lead.
But most probably Bastia won’t be able to exploit this pacifist attitude of Nantes, mainly because they lack the means to open up a decent defense. Nantes DNB at 2.29
UPDATE: Bastia welcome back midfielder Ba after injury. Keeper Riou is fully fit after injury and should be in the lineup for Nantes.
Bastia: Areola, Leca – Modesto, Palmieri, Squillaci, Peybernes, Romaric, Marange – Gillet, Cahuzac, E-H.Ba, Boudebouz, F.Ayité, Pino, Maboulou – Ongenda, Tallo, J.Rodriguez
Nantes: Re.Riou, Dupé – Alhadhur, I.Cissokho, Djilobodji, Hansen, Veigneau, Vizcarrondo – Bedoya, Deaux, N’Koudou, Rongier, Veretout – Audel, Bammou, Bangoura, Gakpe, Shechter