This game may come to soon for Lille after they were eliminated from the Cup at penalties in the midweek. It was a real battle front and of course like in every war injuries followed. Young fullback Digne and midfielder Balmont are out, while experienced midfielder Mavuba is doubtful. These are key players in Lille’s game. But even if they would have been available, nowadays Lille’s strategy is based solely on long shots coming from and out of form Payet. He needs about 5 attempts before he can placed on that truly is dangerous. This is disastrous for the creation phase, as the ball is lost too rapidly and the defensive players must always be in alert, a constant state of tension for them that eventually leads to moral exhaustion. On the flanks they will suffer more than ever. Last round was the first game without fullback Debuchy gone to Newcastle, and they were in constant danger on that side. Now, Digne will miss as well. He’s a very stable player and big names in Europe are interested in him. With Balmont out the center will be more prone to mistakes as well, and of eventually Mavuba won’t recover it will be disastrous.
Nice made a real show last round, completely dominating Valenciennes. They scored from every position and created with almost every attack they had. Forward Cvitanich is at the moment one of Europe’s most prolific striker (in comparison to minutes played).
Offensive midfielder Eysseric signed a contract with Nice, after he was only loaned at them. Defenders are rejecting actions with eyes closed and only from instinct. Nice is the team of the moment in France and big credit should go to coach Puel, a name you will hear for a long time in the biggest sports dedicated newspapers in the world… No new absentees for Nice.
The odds on Lille aren’t even worth coffee money… The value is definitely on Nice. Double chance on visitors is the bet of the round in France.