Nice are back on Earth after the humiliating defeat in Europa League (lost 5-2 away at Krasnodar). The game was pretty balanced when forward Balotelli was in the field, but everything changed after the break when Balotelli got substituted. Nice had to use more players in the attacking phase (trying to compensate for Balotelli’s absence), and they were surprised on counters, more than once.
Nice are yet to be defeated in Ligue1, and are doing pretty good both against upper half and lower half opponents. Usually they have only 1 real forward and can easily agglomerate in defense and midfield, leaving no open spaces for opponents. But sooner or later Nice will use both forwards Plea and Balotelli at once, and it remains to be seen if defensive players will be able to handle the new system, seeing they completely failed to cope with the pressure away at Krasnodar.
Keeper Lecomte was Lorient’s hero last round against Lyon. He made some incredible saves and managed to keep a clean sheet on his own (Lorient won 1-0).
Although they won, the overall performance was not that impressive, as Lorient were often outplayed in defense, while their attacking attempts seemed very soft. Striker Waris recently returned from injury, but unfortunately he is completely out of form.
At Lorient all central midfielders mostly have defensive tasks, and there is a huge gap between midfielders and forwards.
Guests continue to miss defenders Lautoa and Rose, winger Phillipoteaux, and midfielder Marveaux.
Bookies finally realized that Nice have a solid squad, and this time they properly adjusted the odds. Lorient seemed too soft so far to pose any real opposition. One way game should be expected. NICE -0.75 at 2.06
Nice : Hassen, Cardinale – Souquet, Baysse, R.Pereira, Dalbert, Dante, M.Sarr – Belhanda, Seri, Eysseric, Walter, Bodmer, Cyprien, Koziello – Balotelli, Plea, Donis
Lorient: Lecomte, Delecroix – Moreira, Koffi, Touré, Ciani, Le Goff – Barthelmé, Cabot, Fofana, Mesloub, Cafu, Bellugou, Mvuemba, Ben Khémis, Mara – Moukandjo, Waris