Nantes in defense and Nantes upfront look like two different teams. At the back they are pretty solid with Djilobodji and Vizcarrondo receiving constant help from central midfielders, but with the exception of a few shy attempts the offensive phase lacks completely.
Even talented winger Gakpe is unable to pick up form due to the lack of involvement from teammates.
Coach Der Zakarian tries in vain to change the starting formula as the results fail to appear. For example last round Veretout was play-maker instead of Bedoya, and he was given more offensive tasks. But he is just too young, too defensive minded and without proper support from the striker to succeed.
Last season the story was different when veteran Djordjevic played upfront for Nantes. He knew how to inspire teammates and make them feel comfortable regardless their positions and tasks.
Just like Nantes, Monaco are also having problems adapting to a new style of play without an influential player. It seems they can’t find any solutions to replace play-maker James Rodriguez who transferred-out this summer.
Monaco rely exclusively on 3 players for building up play: Moutinho who is only average ever-since arriving at Monaco, Ocampos who was mostly a substitute last season and Ferreira Carrasco, a selfish young player more accustomed with being a reserve than a starter.
In these conditions it shouldn’t come as a surprise they have difficulties in creating dangerous opportunities. On the other hand Monaco have some impressive players ready to apply the finishing touch, like Berbatov, Falcao and even Germain, but first and foremost they need balls from midfield and that’s the hardest part…
Central defender Carvalho will return from suspension.
This game should be played mostly in midfield with Monaco having the initiative but unable to get near Nantes’ penalty box.
UPDATE: Newly arrived Wallace is not qualified to play yet for Monaco.
Nantes: Badri, Dupé – Alhadhur, I.Cissokho, Djilobodji, Hansen, Veigneau, Vizcarrondo – Bedoya, Bessat, Deaux, Nkoudou, Veretout – Audel, Aristeguieta, Bammou, Bangoura, Gakpe, Shechter
Monaco: Stekelenburg, Subasic, Sy – Abdennour, Carvalho, Echiejile, Fabinho, Kurzawa, Raggi – Bakayoko, Ferreira Carrasco, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Ocampos, B.Silva, Toulalan – Berbatov, Falcao, Germain, A.Martial