Nantes are really missing fullback and captain Veigneau. In his absence inexperienced Alhadhur is the sole choice. Since his professional career began I don’t think he played in total 10 games for Nantes’ first team.
In these conditions it is of course logical for Nantes’ left flank to be problematic.
Last round Lyon exploited at maximum this weakness and a defensive midfielder was constantly needed to cover that side, leaving many empty spaces in the center.
Although newly arrived, right winger Nicolita is also severely missed as his speed and dedication could have made a difference and even inspire teammates at key moments in the game. Inspiration and motivation that is usually given to them by captain Veigneau who is injured now.
Nantes is a very compact team, but a small team and every absence influences the outcome of their games. Their entire tactics is thrown upside down whenever an injury occurs. And unfortunately for them there is no plan B.
When a defender, no matter if fullback or central defender, a defensive midfielder or striker Djordjevic will miss for Nantes, they will be in a lot of trouble. They definitely need more depth in the squad.
Just like last season, Nice are once again playing for for the fun of it. They are simply enjoying every single minute on the field.
Puel is one of the best coaches in France, I am not saying that he is a strategic mastermind or anything, but he is a constant source of inspiration for his players. The attitude with which they enter the field and their confidence is just amazing.
He can take crippled player out there and make him believe he is the next Messi and in the same time keep the common sense at high levels. With Puel in charge the French national team would be unrecognizable…
But getting back to Nice there just aren’t enough superlatives to characterize their play.
All departments are well oiled and function at high parameters. Experienced Bodmer immediately adapted in the central defense and proved to be rock solid. Midfielders deliver assists on a conveyor belt and Cvitanich just won’t stop scoring.
But like always there is one problem. Keeper Ospina is suspended and most probably 18 years old Hassen will take his place. He is a product of Nice’s youth academy and is familiar with all Nice’s players so there won’t be an issue of communication.
I also wouldn’t worry too much when it comes to confidence because, as I previously said, Puel inspires everyone and makes them give their best and overcome their limits.
A Nantes side deprived of their captain and without the ability to be consistent for the entire 90 minutes (like they’ve shown against Lyon) just can’t take all the points in front of a side playing for the love of the game.
Nice +0.5 at the price of 1.70 can bring in a nice and safe profit.