As expected Nantes lost star striker Djordjevic who moved on in search of a better team and a better contract, things that Nantes couldn’t provide…
Besides that irreplaceable loss Nantes haven’t changed much. Upfront they will continue to use Israeli striker Shechter who should feel honored if someone uses the word “disappointing” to characterize his performance last season… He somehow managed to miss from the best positions possible and even his penalties went far away outside the stadium. He was a disaster.
Fast and talented winger Gakpe will remain Nantes’ most dangerous player, but if opponents will do their homework and neutralize him Nantes will have major problems in approaching the penalty box.
Defensively Nantes should be as strong as last season with Vizcarrondo and Djilobodji in central defense receiving constant support from midfielders.
Hosts will have to do without suspended defender Djilobodji and injured keeper Riou.
Opponents Lens lost 1st choice keeper Areola and young forward Salli. They haven’t brought in any players so they will continue to use the same squad as last season.
Lens have some talented players out there, especially the ones doing the offensive phase, so they can always score out of nothing. Still, for being competitive they will need to invest a bit and transfer-in some new players in order to enlarge the squad, avoid tiredness to accumulate and keep the same level of quality throughout the entire season.
Lens’ forward Touzghar suffered an injury and is doubtful for this game.
Nantes are of course heavy favorites in front of a newly promoted side that didn’t reinforce for Ligue1. But Nantes may very well move the ball around in midfield in vain as the offensive players have limited capabilities and will struggle to find their way inside Lens’ penalty box.
UPDATE: Alongside Djilobodji (suspended) Nantes will also miss defender Djidji and midfielder Toure, both injured. Israeli striker Shechter was left outside the squad… Lens will only miss central defender Yahia.
Nantes: Badri, Dupé – Alhadhur, I.Cissokho, Hansen, Vizcarrondo, Veigneau – Veretour, B.Touré, N’Koudou, Rongier, Deaux, Bessat, Bedoya – Aristeguieta, Audel, Bammou, Gakpé
Lens: Belon, Ru.Riou – Baal, Cavaré, Gbamin, Kantari, Landre – Bourigeaud, Cyprien, El Jadeyaoui, Le Moigne, Nomenjanahary, Valdivia – Chavarria, Ad.Coulibaly, Guillaume, D.Ndiaye, Touzghar