Approaching the winter break Nice were clearly tired and maybe even bored. Not playing for about 3 weeks made them good and will allow them to start fresh and add motivation. Coach Puel put together a great team with little resources available. No doubt that bringing in forward Cvitanich is one of the transfers of the season in Ligue1. He’s got Inzaghi’s profile, as he can easily speculate the tinniest of open spaces and he’s always got the best placement possible. The other offensive players are raising their standards visibly.
Players like Bautheac, Pied and Eysseric are feeling comfortable and confident with such a striker next to them. The defense has always been one of my personal favorites with Civelli and Pejcinovic in the center. Even if Nice conceded quite a few goals so far, there is only a small number of players in Ligue1 that can bypass that defense. They will be without suspended keeper Ospina and without defensive midfielder Traore gone at CAN.
On the opposite end we have Valenciennes that fights for the record of the worst Ligue1 defense.
From now on things can only get more bad for them, as central defender Gil never returned from his native land (Brazil) and will be transferred out pretty soon. Forward Pujol got injured, attacking midfielder Kadir left, winger Danic is out and forward Le Tallec is out of form for about 2 months already… Who will do the converting for them? Or the creating for that matter? Winger Dossevi alone? He is a decent player, maybe even more than decent, but he needs support in his actions, and now with Danic and Kadir gone there will be nobody to provide that support.
With problems both in the defensive and offensive phase Valenciennes can only dream at 1 point from this game. This should be a comfortable home win.