Although Nantes started with 2 strikers last round (0-0 at Lille) they seem to have been better organized in defense than usual.
It may be because in light of recent results Nantes are very close to the relegation zone and players decided to make extra efforts and salvage what started as an excellent season but became a nightmare.
The point won away at Lille really deserves some praise, especially when Nantes were without central defender Djilobodji. Djiji and Deaux (usually central midfielder) partnered in central defense and made an excellent game, leaving no open spaces for opponents. Of course they received constant help for the entire 90 minutes as almost everyone was involved in the defensive phase.
Even if they used 2 pure blooded attackers (Djordjevic and Shechter), besides a chance or two, Nantes were invisible. But this is not news to anyone following Nantes, as ever since Djordjevic dropped form they have offensive issues. Most probably Djordjevic’s mind is already at Lazio where he will go at the end of the season.
Nantes will once again miss defender Djilobodji. Forward Aristigueta
resumed training but this game may come too early for him.
Montpellier were unconvincing last round against Bordeaux (finished 1-1). Defenders had many slip-ups that could have been easily exploited by more prolific strikers.
In the offensive phase Montpellier were very hesitant, play-maker Cabella had only a couple of successful passes, while wingers concentrated mostly on recovering balls than creating actions.
Montpellier are also pretty close to the relegation zone (just like Nantes, only 1 point above them) so maybe they are not willing to take any risks and this is affecting their game, especially the attacking phase.
From this point of view this game will very balanced with both sides concentrated first on not making any errors. It remains to be seen if any side will be able to speculate the few mistakes that will occur throughout 90 minutes.
UPDATE: Nantes will be without coach Zakarian on the bench (missed all week from training due to illness), while Montpellier will have to do without the services of central defender Hilton.
Nantes: Riou, Dupé – Alhadhur, Djidji, Veigneau, Is.Cissokho, Vizcarrondo – Bedoya, Bessat, Deaux, Nico lita, R.Gomis, B. Touré, Veretout – Audel, Pancrate, Shechter, Djordjevic, Gakpé
Montpellier: Pionnier, Jourdren – Bocaly, Congré, Tiéné, El Kaoutari, Deplagne, Jebbour – J.Marveaux, J.Martin, Cabella, Sanson, Stambouli – Mounier, Mb.Niang, So.Camara, Tinhan, Deza