Montpelier are in full confidence at the moment after winning 11 points in the last 5 rounds. This is the best run they had so far this season, but the reality is the good results had a lot to do with a favorable schedule.
The problems with which Montpellier’s opponents confronted lately made them perfect victims. Four rounds ago Toulouse were hungry for points and had a suicidal approach (Montpellier won 2-0). Three rounds ago Angers missed their 3 best players and Montpellier won 3-2. Two rounds ago they defeated Lille 3-0 after a balanced game, a game in which opponents deserved more. Last week PSG were already thinking at the Champions League against Chelsea and Montpellier somehow snatched a draw (finished 0-0).
Important central defender Hilton suffered an injury and may miss this round.
Things finally went back to normal for Nice. Forward Ben Arfa returned from injury and central defender Bodmer stopped playing as an attacking midfielder.
Last round Ben Arfa played for about half an hour, so he should be a starter this week. Midfielder Koziello and defender Baysse will also return from suspension, and Nice can continue the battle for the last place in Champions League next season.
They went through a bad phase while Ben Arfa was injured (only 2 points in 4 rounds), but after the victory last round hopefully the confidence level was restored.
Guests may miss defender Bodmer who suffered an injury last week.
Bookies give Montpellier way too much credit. Circumstances won’t favor them anymore, or at least not as odds suggest. The value is definitely on Nice. NICE +0.25 at 2.13
UPDATE: Nice welcome back defender Le Marchand after injury, but arewithout central defender Bodmer.
Montpellier: Pionnier, Ligali – Congré, Hilton, Roussillon, Bensebaini, Deplagne, W.Rémy – J.Martin, B.Dabo, Boudebouz, Skhiri, Saihi, Sanson – M.Yatabaré, Bérigaud, Ninga, So.Camara
Nice: Hassen, Cardinale – Baysse, Le Marchand, Ricardo, Genevois, Pied – Seri, Mah.Traoré, Hult, Koziello, Walter, Wallyson, N.Mendy – Ben Arfa, Plea, A.Mendy, Germain