Nice didn’t had too many chances last round away at Montpellier (lost 3-1). It was a one sided game and the moments in which Nice took control were rare and didn’t last long.
[restrict paid=true level=1] For a couple of rounds already Nice are without several important players. Although they will welcome back central defenders Pejcinovic and Bodmer, and winger Pied, there’s a high possibility that none of them will start against against Lille. They were out of action for quite some time and it may still be too early for them.
On the other hand midfielder Bruins got injured and joined Eysseric, Traore and Bautheac on the sidelines.
These are harsh times for Nice as they are affected in all departments. Upfront they really miss the actions carried on the flanks by Bautheac and Eysseric or Pied, and in these conditions striker Cvitanich stopped scoring as the number of balls for him diminished considerably.
In central midfield there is no proper replacement for Traore who is the perfect link between defense and offense.
Playing with reserve central defenders certainly dragged Nice back, as they conceded an average of 2.75 goals per game, in the last 4 games (Cups included).
In spite of all the problems Nice still play open football in every game. Either because they just aren’t capable of killing a game, or because of coach’s Puel vision on modern football. This offensive attitude (when they are without many important players) guarantees that Nice will conceded in every round.
Nice will also miss suspended fullback Puel. He will be substituted by Palun, a player prone to making decisive mistakes.
Lille lost 2 points last round (drew 0-0 vs Rennes) but gained an in-form offensive player. Ryan Mendes made an exceptional game and his substitution in min 70 came as a surprise. He was everywhere on the field giving precise passes (long, short, one touch balls, you name it) but sadly teammates could not convert the chances created by Mendes.
Midfielder Balmont was suspended last round allowing Mendes to start. Balmont will return now and Mendes will most likely be only on the bench.
Lille transferred in talented fullback Corchia from Sochaux. Seeing that Beria is still out injured, there’s a high possibility that Corchia will start the game.
Except Mendes, Lille were slow and uninspired upfront last round. But opponents Rennes concentrated in defense and gave away no spaces. Nice won’t do the same thing, they just don’t know how to apply such tactics.
Even if he won’t start, I see Mendes getting some action in 2nd half. At that point Lille will be able to make the difference against a team that never defends in numbers.
The price of 2.19 for Lille to win can be taken with medium confidence. [/restrict]