With only 1 point above the relegation zone Evian are still pretty much engaged in the battle to avoid relegation. From this perspective they lost an important point last round away at Reims.
Reims won 1-0 but the game was very balanced with a couple of decent opportunities on both sides. Evian even missed a great chance to equalize near the end of the game when defender Mongongu missed a penalty.
But overall Evian failed to penetrate deep in opponents’ penalty box and be consistent in efforts. They concentrated mostly on attacking the wings as the two central midfielders are defensive minded and don’t participate in the offensive phase. In these conditions it’s no wonder Evian have one of the poorest attacks in Ligue1 (only 0.94 goals scored per game) and struggle to avoid relegation.
Defenders Sabaly and Cambon will return to the lineup after being suspended last round.
Nice are only mathematically threatened by relegation as the chances for all direct opponents to get good results in the remaining games are very slim.
Although they use different systems Nice’s playing style is very similar to Evian’s. Due to the reduced offensive capabilities (especially since striker Cvitanich dropped form) Nice concentrate mostly on the defensive phase. The defensive potential is decent but will be diminished now with central defender Bodmer out suspended and replacement Pejcinovic fresh after injury.
Nice will also miss striker Cvitanich due to suspension.
Evian will surely be the ones more motivated but it doesn’t mean they will start a siege from the first minute. On the contrary, most likely they will sit back and wait for Nice to make the first mistake, mistake that may never happen… Odds are just too disproportionate keeping in mind the similar playing styles and abilities.
UPDATE: Evian will miss veteran midfielder Barbosa.
Evian: Hansen, Laquait, Durand, Sabaly, Abdallah, Wass, Boy, Angoula, Cambon, Mongongu, Mensah, Boccara, Koné, Tié Bi, Sorlin, Benezet, Bérigaud, Ruben, Bertoglio, Nsikulu, Sougou.
Nice: Hassen, Ospina – Amavi, Genevois, Kolodziejczak, Palun, Pejcinovic, G.Puel – Abriel, Brüls, Bruins, Albert, Eysseric, N.Mendy, Pied – Bauthéac, Honorat, Maupay, P.Puel