Nantes are flying so high at the moment that there’s the danger of exiting the atmosphere.
But in spite winning away at Marseille last round and being 4th in the table Nantes have serious problems.
First of all they look exhausted and the winter break must be their primary thought each and every day. Nantes’ players are not extraordinary gifted but instead the vision and tactics of coach Zakarian corroborated with extra efforts from players made everything possible.
But tiredness accumulated and Nantes will be one of the few teams truly deserving a break.
Another big issue is the poor form of striker Djordjevic. Nantes depend on him entirely for scoring but lately everything he touches turns to ashes. Djordjevic is aware of his poor form and prefers delivering one touch passes instead of shooting or dribbling (like he used to do in earlier rounds when he scored 8 goals)
With Djordjevic being absent minded American Bedoya netted twice in the last 2 rounds. But don’t get your hopes up, he is no amazing prospect or anything, both his goals came from lucky deflected shots.
Central defender Vizcarrondo will miss through suspension.
Toulouse controlled the game against Montpellier last round but failed to win. Some childish mistakes in the defense from Abdennour helped Montpellier take the lead and Toulouse found it hard to get back in the game (finished 1-1). A missed penalty by striker Ben Basat wasn’t of much help either.
Toulouse were without midfielder Chantome last round. He is still doubtful at the moment but his presence on Saturday is not entirely ruled out. He plays a major role in Toulouse’s strategy and especially when it comes to actions in the center Toulouse rely entirely on him.
Guests will also miss suspended defender Zebina and winger Sylla. There was a time when Sylla was an important player for Toulouse but not anymore. He is out of form and couldn’t even make the lineup last round. Both Sylla and Zebina are replaceable.
It will be hard for Toulouse if Chantome will miss once again. Especially with coach Casanova being stubborn and continuing with attacking midfielder Trejo instead of downgrading Ben Yedder from striker to offensive midfielder, and starting with both Ben Basat and Braithwiate upfront and Ben Yedder behind them. Besides, at origins Ben Yedder is no striker, he only got converted to that position last season.
I think the defense Aurier – Spajic – Abdennour will be able to deal with out-of-form Djordjevic and Bedoya’s deflected shots. Furthermore the support from midfielders (Aguilar, Siriex) is constant is Toulouse’s case.
Odds for Nantes are way too low. I see Toulouse being more determined and also having more resources (more prone to effort). Toulouse +0.5 at 1.83 is the way to go.