Last season Nantes’ biggest problem was the lack of creativity in the offensive phase. Although two of their best players left the squad (midfielder Veretout and winger Gakpe) now on paper Nantes is a beautiful team capable of a pleasant surprise.
They have transferred-in young and talented players with a bright future ahead of them: forward Sala from Bordeaux, central midfielder Thomasson from Evian and Adryan from Flamengo. Most probably all of them will be starters this round and Nantes will have one of the most youngest lineups in their recent history.
Sala should partner Bammou upfront and Nantes will have an attacking line full of energy. In midfield they struck gold with Thomasson who has all the qualities a true leader needs while Brazilian Adryen on the wing will give huge headaches to opponents thanks to superior speed and ball control.
Central defenders Djilobodji and Vizcarrondo are suspended but Djilobodji wouldn’t have played anyway due to an internal conflict (he wants to transfer-out). Deaux and Djidji should be central defenders and they are solid enough to hold ground against a team that sold both best scores.
Guingamp lost their best players, forwards Beauvue and Mandanne who scored most of the goals last season and created the majority of dangerous opportunities. Although not a key element, winger Pied also left the squad.
Guingamp have transferred-in Briand (ex Lyon) who had a poor season in Germany with Hannover. Briand is definitely a talented player but lately his performances were a huge let down. Attacking players Benezet and Privat have also arrived to strengthen the offensive phase. But Benezet was mostly a bench warmer at his former club and never really proved to be Ligue1 material, while Privat can be relied upon only when it comes to aerial play. Guingamp’s play will be built around central midfielder Sankhare but this is no secret weapon and opponents can easily neutralize him, especially a team like Nantes who will have a dynamic and energetic young midfield.
This can be a memorable season for Nantes while Guingamp may struggle to survive another year in Ligue1. Nantes -0.50 at 2.23
UPDATE: Guingamp’s newly arrived striker Briand is not yet fit for action.
Nantes: Dupé, Ru.Riou – Dubois, Deaux, Djidji, Kwateng, Veigneau, Walongwa – Adryan, Bedoya, R.Gomis, Rongier, Thomasson, B.Touré – Audel, Bammou, Sala, Sigthorsson
Guingamp: Lössl, Samassa – Sorbon, Kerbrat, Lemaître, Baca, Angoua, Jacobsen, Lévêque – Giresse, Mo.Diallo, Cardy, Mathis, Benezet, Sankharé, De Pauw – Privat, Salibur, M.Dembélé