Monaco weren’t exactly convincing last week against Bastia, but were never in danger of losing the three points (finished 2-0).
Attacking players seemed a bit out of form and lacked inspiration. Newly arrived striker Vagner Love started upfront, but was very shy and couldn’t create any real chances. Still, he is a highly skilled player, and once adapted he will become a real and constant danger for opponents.
Winger Dirar missed a couple of easy passes and frequently lost possession. Hopefully he will improve this round, or coach Jardim could just use one of the numerous skilled players waiting for a chance on the bench.
Monaco still have a long injury list, but it’s nothing new and they can use the same lineup as in previous rounds.
Nice struggled last round against Toulouse and could only find the winner in the last 10 minutes (won 1-0). Nice lacked inspiration and creativity, and easily lost the ball when trying to initiate attacking actions.
Nice became a bit more active only after midfielder Koziello and forward Germain entered the field in second half. Most probably coach Puel tried to rest them in order to assure freshness for the derby against Monaco.
Although Ben Arfa scored the winner, he seems to be in poor form, is very predictable, and experienced defenders shouldn’t have too many problems in stopping him.
Not sure how much Moutinho or Ben Arfa see this as a derby, so motivation should be at the same level for both sides. Nice looked a bit apathetic as of late, and even if Monaco haven’t exactly impressed, they can always make the difference through individual talent. Monaco -0.75 at 2.05
UPDATE: Monaco welcome back forward Lemar after injury. Nice welcome back defender Bodmer and Pereira after injuries
Monaco: Subasic, Nardi – Ricardo Carvalho, Jemerson, Raggi, Wallace, Fabio Coentrao, Fabinho – Bakayoko, Pasalic, Joao Moutinho, Lemar, Bernardo Silva, Tirard, Dirar, Helder Costa – Carrillo, Vagner Love, Chaïbi.
Nice: Hassen, Cardinale – Baysse, Le Marchand, Ricardo, Bodmer, Genevois, Pied – Seri, Hult, Walter, Dada, N. Mendy, Koziello – Ben Arfa, A. Mendy, Caddy, Germain, P. Puel, Ranieri.