Last week Nice got overwhelmed by Ajaccio’s will power and after conceding in the 1st minute they had difficulties bouncing back in the game (lost 3-1). Nice usually don’t have any problems in taking points even if opponents score first, but last round offensive players simply couldn’t find a way inside the penalty box.
We’ve mentioned before how Nice don’t put any emphasis on the defensive phase and when the attacking department doesn’t function at full potential Nice fail to take any points.
Important forwards Ben Arfa and Germain were only on the bench in the midweek Cup game and Nice were lucky to qualify to the next stage after a goal scored in extra time.
Lille are nothing special this season and their presence in the lower half of the table is not really surprising. Lille’s biggest strength is the defensive phase but unfortunately they aren’t able to keep possession in opponents’ half and there is constant pressure on defenders.
Upfront Lille rely exclusively on attacking midfielder Boufal who is a one man show, as he is the one creating the scoring opportunities and he is also the one applying the finishing touch.
Play-maker Martin recently returned from injury but he won’t be much of an addition, as he never really impressed while playing for Lille.
Lille used mostly regulars in the Cup game against Troyes but still struggled and barely won 2-1. Fullback Beria suffered an injury and most probably will sit out.
Lille have one of the best defense in Ligue1 (according to stats) but that still won’t be enough if Ben Arfa and company will be in form. On the other hand Lille don’t exactly have the means to apply constant pressure and corner opponents, so the game should have mostly one direction. Nice -0.25 at 2.05
UPDATE: Nice’s midfielder Hult recovered from injury and can make his first appearance this season. Lille will miss defenders Basa and Beria.
Nice: Hassen, Cardinale – Bodmer, Le Marchand, Genevois, Baysse, Ricardo, Pied – Koziello, N.Mendy, Seri, Traoré, Hult, Wallyson, Benrahma – Germain, A.Mendy, Ben Arfa, P.Puel, Honorat
Lille: Enyeama, Maignan – Corchia, D.Sidibé, Civelli, Pavard, Sunzu, Soumaoro – Mavuba, Obbadi, Balmont, Mar.Martin, Boufal, Bauthéac, Y.Yeboah – Tallo, Guirassy, Guillaume, Nangis