Nice on home ground and Nice away from home are two different teams. This is mainly because of fans’ support which can make Nice push beyond their limits. No matter how tired players may be, they still run their lungs out in-front of own fans.
It seems Nice learned how to play without striker Cvitanich. Coach Puel uses either Plea or Bosetti upfront and both of them are very young, energetic and determined to make a name for themselves.
Brazilian Carlos Eduardo slowly became an important element especially ever-since he assumed the play-maker role. He seems to be the perfect link in switching the play from one side to the other and taking opponents by surprise.
The defense also looks pretty decent, maybe the sole thing dragging them down is the irregular support coming from midfielders Digard and Mendy who seem slow and are often caught on the wrong foot.
Bastia are looking worse as round goes by. Makelele still has a lot to learn as a coach and ever-since arriving at Bastia he only made one good decision, replacing hesitant fullback Palmieri with Marange.
Otherwise Makelele buried Bastia by isolating talented Boudebouz on the wing and diminishing his confidence and by using Colombian Pino as a play-maker. Pino prefers long balls and teammates have problems in stopping and controlling the ball. As a result possession is quite rapidly lost and Bastia are almost always under pressure.
Guests will welcome back striker Cisse after injury.
Bastia won’t really afford to focus fully on defending, their delicate position in the table won’t allow them to. Hosts are more confident, have a better organization and the fanatic fans should once again push them beyond limits. Nice -0.5 at 2.11
UPDATE: Hosts welcome back central defender Genevois after injury. Bastia will miss midfielders Pino and Ba due to injury.
Nice: Hassen, Pouplin – Amavi, Bodmer, S.Diawara, K.Gomis, Genevois, Palun, G.Puel – Digard, Bauthéac, Eduardo, Eysseric, Hult, N.Mendy, Vercauteren – Bosetti, Maupay, Plea
Bastia: Areola, J-L.Leca – Modesto, D.Diakité, Cioni, Palmieri, Squillaci, Peybernes, Romaric – Gillet, Boudebouz, F.Ayité – Maboulou, J.Rodriguez, Ongenda, Tallo, D.Cissé, Kamano