As expected Nantes were eliminated from the Cup after losing 2-0 in front of Nice. They used a mixed squad but for this game keeper Riou, fullback Cissokho, attacking midfielder Bedoya, winger Gakpe and star striker Djordjevic will return in the lineup.
Nantes’ strongest point remains the defensive organization, but unfortunately the offensive reliance on Djordjevic also has a negative impact on the defense.
Whenever Djordjevic is out-of-form Nantes simply can’t score. Coach Der Zakarian invented a play-maker out of nothing, American Bedoya, who scored a couple of goals only thanks to luck. Bedoya alone is simply not enough to compensate for Djordjevic’s lack of form. Striker Djordjevic finished the 1st part of the season with other things on his mind. Whenever he touched the ball Nantes lost possession. Remains to be seen if his morale will change after the winter break, but judging by the numerous transfer rumors I have my doubts…
Attacking midfielder Bedoya lacks both vision and ball control, and because of this Nantes aren’t able to hold the ball in opponents’ half. As a consequence there is a constant pressure on their defenders, under which they crack most the times.
Lorient are coming after a shameful defeat in the Cup in front of Yzeure from the 4th division (lost 1-0). Lorient are no Cup specialists nor was the Cup an important objective for them, but still they just have to make amends for the disgraceful result.
Keeper Audard suffered an injury, but happily for Lorient 2nd keeper Chaigneau resumed training and is fully fit for actions. Chaigneau was a starter for a couple of rounds in the first part of the season and conceded only 1 goal in 4 or 5 games.
Besides Coutadeur and Robert everyone is fully fit. Even Bourillon who will be able to substitute Coutadeaur and play alongside Lautoa in the central midfield.
Lorient have a pretty solid defense with Kone and Ecuele Manga in the central defense and Lautoa always giving a helping hand. It will be a nightmare for Nantes to try and open up Lorient, especially if Djordjevic will be man-marked.
With fast players like Barthelme and Jouffre on the wings and Aliadiere upfront, Lorient can surprise Nantes on counters, just like Nice did in the Cup game.
The price of 1.74 for Lorient +0.5 is definitely too high and deserves a medium size bet.