Nantes were surprisingly good last round away at Lille and the 2-0 loss was severely unjust.
There were long periods in which Nantes took control and cornered Lille. Although they haven’t scored things looked way better in the creation phase, with midfielder Veretout moving around a lot and inspiring teammates. Even lone striker Bammou showed increased playing appetite.
Nantes conceded twice immediately after half time when players barely had the chance to settle down in the field. Against an organized team like Lille it was almost impossible to come back in the game.
The point is Nantes performed infinitely better than in previous rounds and it seems they finally improved the offensive phase (weakest part so far).
Weird game between Nice and Metz last round. Metz acted crazy and rushed upfront like never before giving away many open spaces. In-spite of that, Nice failed to exploit and only managed to score the winner in the dying seconds of the game, after a gift from one of Metz’s defenders (Nice won 1-0).
Nice missed a couple of huge opportunities that were born not necessarily because of their creative power but because opponents went from one mistake to another.
For Nice it was the first time they used a 3-5-2 system and, seeing they won, most likely coach Puel will continue using the same formula. Defending the flanks was already a weakness for Nice with youngsters Amavi and Puel playing as fullbacks. Now opponents will have even more spaces to make maneuvers and initiate dangerous actions.
Striker Cvitanich suffered an injury last round and most likely will sit out.
It won’t be easy for Nantes seeing they are still in the process of improving the offensive phase. But this may actually be of help as they won’t attack like savages and instead will slowly build up play creating constant pressure under which Nice should crack. Nantes -0.75 at 2.13
UPDATE: Nantes will miss injured striker Aristigueta while Nice are without Cvitanich and long term injured Digard and Traore
Nantes: Badri, Dupé – Alhadhur, I.Cissokho, Djilobodji, Hansen, Veigneau, Vizcarrondo – Bedoya, Deaux, N’Koudou, B.Touré, Veretout – Bammou, Bangoura, Gakpe, Shechter, Audel
Nice: Hassen, Pouplin – Amavi, Bodmer, Diawara, Genevois, Gomis, Palun, G.Puel – Albert, Bauthéac, Eduardo, Eysseric, Hult, Mendy, Vercauteren – Bosetti, Maupay, Plea