Lille’s game last round against Montpellier was extremely organized and efficient (won 2-0).
They successfully covered all areas of the field when building up play, and closed ranks whenever opponents tried to create something.
Once again long range attempts played a big role in Lille’s strategy. Not only midfielder Balmont, but this time fullback Sidibe was also confident and tried his luck a couple of times. Sidibe appeared to be in good form and so coach Girard will be faced with a hard choice, seeing that regular fullback Beria will be back from injury.
Besides Beria, Lille will also welcome back central defender Kjaer (suffered a last minute injury before the game last week) and play-maker Martin. It won’t be a good idea to make Martin a starter as he’s been injured for quite some time and needs to pick up a rythm first.
Opponents Nantes disappointed once again last round. This time it happened against last placed Ajaccio (ended 2-2). Striker Djordjevic scored an easy goal but missed some incredible sitters, so his current form is not really encouraging.
The spaces between defenders seem to be bigger than ever. Bad news as central defender Djilobodji (probably their best player) suffered an injury and will miss this game. This is really terrible as the other defenders are slow and fail to anticipate opponents’ moves.
Nantes will welcome back striker Aristigueta and defender Vizcarrondo, after both of them got held in South America last week (international action).
This game should be one sided with Lille in control from the first whistle. Hosts aren’t really masters when it comes to opening up defenses, but Nantes are in a disastrous state, lacking confidence and their best defender. Lille -1.25 at 2.23.
UPDATE: Besides Djilobodji, Nantes will also miss striker Aristigueta and midfielder Veretout. Lille welcmoe back fullback Beria and captain Mavuba.
Lille: Enyeama, Elana – Sidibé, Kjaer, Basa, Béria, Rozehnal, Jeanvier, Souaré – Balmont, Gueye, Mavuba, Delaplace, Meïté – Kalou, Rodelin, Roux, Origi, Ruiz, R.Mendes
Nantes: Riou, Zelazny – Alhadhur, Djidji, Veigneau, Is.Cissokho, Vizcarrondo – Bedoya, Bessat, Deaux, Nicolita, R.Gomis, B. Touré – I.Bangoura, Pancrate, Shechter, Djordjevic, Gakpe