Nice’s defense is a total mess and nothing can be done to improve this situation. Last week Nice couldn’t hold ground against an opponent in numerical inferiority and conceded twice in only 15 minutes (3-3 against Troyes).
There are a couple of factors that influence how Nice are performing in this moment:
– keeper Pouplin is injured, same as important central defender Bodmer
– both central defenders Baysee and Le Marchand arrived this summer and it will take some time to develop playing relations
– they do not have a decent left back and use only inexperienced players from the youth squad.
– the emphasis is on the attacking phase which is Nice’s strongest part.
By far the biggest problem is not having a decent left back. Opponents can easily exploit that even if they aren’t masters of building down the flanks.
But in the same time Nice have an incredibly gifted attacking line with Germain and Plea upfront and Ben Arfa behind them. There is no exaggeration to say that Nice can open up any defense in Ligue1.
Hosts will miss midfielder Traore (started as right back last round) who suffered an injury last week. On the other hand they will welcome back young fullback Boscagli who was suspended last round.
After two rounds Caen have maximum of points and in both games they have applied the same strategy. Caen focus more on the defensive aspect, but even so, opponents often get inside the penalty box and find themselves in excellent positions one on one with keeper Vercoutre. In the first two rounds Vercoutre made some excellent saves and managed to keep two clean sheets, but things will be a bit harder this round when up against Plea, Ben Arfa and Germain.
Newly arrived winger Bessat immediately earned his place in the lineup, forcing Nangis and Bazile (both are fast players with good ball control skills) to share the right winger position and constantly improve because of the competition. Caen can create some real damage on the wings and now against troubled Nice they should make the most of their skills.
Really bad news for Cane as two of their regular defenders, fullback Imourou and central defender Yahia will miss a couple of rounds due to injuries.
Caen will have to adapt to Nice’s playing style as they will be the ones imposing the rythm, and at least now, when Nice play there is a total show. Over 2.5 goals at 2.14
UPDATE: Nice will once again miss keeper Pouplin and defender Bodmer, but welcome back fullback Boscagli and winger Pied. Caen will be without defender Imourou and Yahia.
Nice: Hassen, Cardinale – Baysse, K.Gomis, Le Marchand, Boscagli, Correia – N.Mendy, Koziello, Seri, Wallyson, Benrahma, Pied – Plea, Germain, Ben Arfa, P.Puel, A.Mendy
Caen: Vercoutre, Reulet – Leborgne, Le Joncour, Da Silva, Appiah, Ben Youssef, Alhadhur – Seube, Delaplace, Voisin, Bessat, Adéoti, Féret – Delort, Nangis, Louis, Bazile