Although they got positive results Nice were not that convincing so far in 2016. The major problem seems to be creating scoring opportunities, but we have to be fair and mention that so far this year Nice played against defensively solid teams (Lille and Angers).
Things should be different this round seeing that opponents Lorient were never a force in defense.
Defender Le Marchand returned from injury last week but coach Puel didn’t want to risk anything and left him outside the squad. We should see him in the lineup this week, if not from the beginning at least in second half.
Lorient could definitely get better results if all players would be available. Unfortunately they continue to have problems with injuries.
The season is over for captain Lautoa (central defender) and this will certainly affect their defensive performances. Top scorer Moukandjo is still injured and the only good news is the possible comeback of forward Waris (no certainty at the moment).
In the attacking phase Lorient concentrate entirely on the flanks, since both their central midfielders are defensive minded. This is a major inconvenient and opponents don’t have much problems in annihilating Lorient.
Lorient are coming after a difficult Cup game, away at 3rd division side Boulougne, a game that Lorient won only after extra time (finished 3-1).
Hosts should dominate this game, and most probably they will create more chances than in previous encounters. Even if they won’t be too pushy, sooner or later Nice should find the winner. Nice -0.5 at 1.89
UPDATE: Lorient welcome back forward Moukandjo but will once again miss Waris
Nice: Hassen, Cardinale – Baysse, Le Marchand, Bodmer, Genevois, Pied, Boscagli – Seri, Hult, Walter, Dada, N.Mendy, Koziello – Ben Arfa, A.Mendy, Germain, Honorat, Ranieri, Caddy
Lorient: Lecomte, Chaigneau – Paye, Gassama, L.Koné, Z.Touré, Karamoko, Bellugou, Le Goff, Guerreiro – Barthelmé, Jouffre, Ndong, Mesloub, Abdullah, Philippoteaux – Jeannot, Moukandjo, Al.Traoré