These teams met at the end of 2014 in the Cup when Nantes managed an impressive comeback and won 4-2 in extra time after they were 2-0 down with half an hour to go.
Nantes was definitely the better side back then and dominated from all points of view. Only about a month passed so things haven’t changed that much since that game. Nantes are still very organized defensively and even highly skilled strikers have difficulties in finding open spaces.
Hosts will have to do without important central defender Djilobodji (international duty at Africa Cup of Nations) but it won’t be the first time without him and actually the timing is perfect since defender Djidji will make a comeback after injury.
Nantes will also miss central midfielder Hansen due to injury.
Opponents Metz qualified to the next stage of the French Cup after winning over 3rd division side Epinal 2-1.
Metz’s offensive problems are nothing new but now they should be more visible than ever since both forwards Falcon (injured) and Maiga (Africa Cup of Nations) will miss. Metz will have to rely only on wingers and attacking midfielder Krivets for penetrating inside Nantes’ penalty box. It’s pretty hard to corner Nantes in normal circumstances and now it will be almost impossible.
Metz will welcome back defender Choplin and winger Malouda after suspension.
Attacking wise Nantes aren’t really scaring anyone, but players like Veretout and Gakpe have enough skills to create tunnels out of nothing and put the opponent in difficulty. Nantes -0.75 at 2.04
UPDATE: Looks like this game came too soon for hosts’ defender Djidji. Same bet
Nantes: Dupé, Ré.Riou – Alhadhur, Cissokho, Veigneau, Vizcarrondo, Walongwa – Bedoya, Bessat, Deaux, R.Gomis, Nkoudou, A.Touré, Veretout – Audel, Bammou, Is.Bangoura, Gakpé, Shechter
Metz:J.Carrasso, Oberhauser – Bussmann, Choplin, Métanire, Milan, Palomino, Rivierez – Ikaunieks, Krivets, Lejeune, Malouda, N’Daw, Ngbakoto, Philipps, B.Sarr – Andrada, Nsor, Vion