Nantes made a really smart game last week away at newly promoted Dijon (won 1-0). They invited opponents to attack, and managed to create tunnels and speculate on counters.
Attacking players are very fast and capable of building lightning actions and taking opponents by surprise. Nantes are also highly organized and confident in the defensive phase. Newly arrived defender Lucas Lima is very solid and forced Aristeguieta on the bench (was a regular last season).
Experienced central midfielder Gillet coordinates the entire play and is Nantes’ most important player. They will have problems if Gillet gets injured, but that’s not the case at the moment.
Disappointing performance from Monaco in the first round against Guingamp (finished 2-2). Although they imposed the rythm, Monaco were 2-0 down at half time and struggled to get back in the game.
Fullbacks advance a lot and there are always spaces on the flanks. There are problems in central defense as well, as Jemereson seems to be out-of-form (was only a bench warmer last season) , and Glik is newly transferred and needs time to adapt. Both of them seem to be one step behind opponents at all times.
Things looked better in the midweek Champions League game away at Villareal (Monaco won 2-1), but this time the opponent wasn’t considered inferior and Monaco were hesitant when going upfront. We won’t see that happening too often in Ligue 1…
Fullback Sidibe and forward Vagner Love may return form injury, but forwards Falcao and Mbappe will surely sit out.
Nantes have a really beautiful squad, but bookies did their homework and properly adjusted the odds. Besides, due to the value of their players, Monaco can always strike against the run of play and get at least a point (like it happened against Villareal).
UPDATE: Hosts will miss forward Sala and midfielder Thomasson, but they welcome back forward Sigthorsson. Monaco will suffer more than usual in defense, since they will be without central defender Jemerson and defensive midfielder Fabinho
Nantes: Nantes : Dupé, Ré.Riou – Diego Carlos, Djidji, Dubois, Kwateng, Lima, Moimbé, Vizcarrondo – Alegue, Gillet, Harit, Iloki, Rongier, Thomsen, Kacaniklic – Bammou, Sigthorsson, Aristeguieta
Monaco: Subasic, De Sanctis, Badiashile – Echiejile, Ben.Mendy, Raggi, Glik, Tisserand, Ab.Diallo, K.N’Doram – Dirar, Moutinho, B.Silva, T.Bakayoko, Ad.Traoré, Boschilia, Lemar – Cavaleiro, Germain, Jean