Guingamp looked good against PAOK in the midweek Europa League game (won 2-0). The three attacking midfielders Pied, Marveaux and Beauvue were Guingamp’s heart and soul. Opponents also gave a helping hand as at times the spaces in defense were simply huge.
Central midfielder Sankhare returned from injury last round and played the entire game. He is an exponential player and judging by his performance it looks like he is slowly picking up rythm. Once he will achieve full potential both the defensive and the offensive phase will receive a major boost.
Guingamp is a small team and the European adventure may have an adverse affect on the Ligue1 performances. Coach Gourvennec doesn’t really have many options available, he can try changing some midfielders that surely are a bit tired (Beauvue or Marveaux) but the offensive strength will be severely diminished, so most likely Guingamp will continue in the same formula.
2nd choice keeper Samassa is out suspended.
Leaving aside the lack of a real top-scorer Nantes look above average in all compartments. The defense is confident, precise in interventions and always on alert, midfielders are very lively and more creative as round goes by, especially young central midfielder Veretout who slowly turns into a leader.
The major cause for concern is the lack of skills of forwards Shechter, Bammou and Aristeguieta. No matter the choice of coach Der Zakarian all three strikers are in the same talentless category…
But thanks to midfielders’ good form Nantes’ strikers can find themselves in excellent positions from which nobody misses the target.
Last placed Guingamp will try hard to build on the Europa League success. They will be the ones taking the initiative and trying to corner opponents. But hosts may be softer than usual due to tiredness and Nantes’ power of endurance can certainly tilt the balance. Nantes DNB at 2.14
UPDATE: Nantes welcome back midfielder Gomis and forward Bangoura.
Guingamp: Guichard, Lössl – Kerbrat, Angoua, Lévêque, Sorbon, Jacobsen, Baca – Beauvue, Giresse, Sankharé, S.Marveaux, Pied, S.Yatabaré, M.Diallo, Mathis – Douniama, Mandanne, Schwartz
Nantes: Riou, Dupé – Cissokho, Djilobodji, N’Dongala, Veigneau, Vizcarrondo – Bedoya, Deaux, Gomis, Hansen, N’Koudou, Rongier, Veretout – Audel, Bammou, Bangoura, Gakpe, Shechter.