Last round Nice were rightfully defeated away at Toulouse. Nice could not create much and only by chance they managed to infiltrate Toulouse’s penalty box a couple of times.
Thing is that away from home Nice looks like an entirely different team. They are shy and happy to withdraw in own half and defend. But at home they have a different face. On own turf Nice are more courageous, more daring, and in the same time the defense isn’t neglected.
Recently they had some problems with injuries so maybe this added to their reluctance when playing away. Both habitual wingers Bautheuc and Eysseric were injured. Good news is that Eysseric will return for this game, increasing the creativity level and conversion power.
This will allow coach Puel to lucidly choose whomever shows more form and determination between Bosetti and Pied for the other flank. Last round for example he was forced by circumstances to start with both of them, severely reducing Nice’s offensive potential.
Otherwise hosts should be using the same team as in previous rounds, with rock solid Bodmer and Pejcinovic in the central defense, wizard Bruls as a playmaker and Machiavellian Cvitanich upfront (Machiavellian because he somehow steals many dangerous free kick and even penalties by deceiving opponents).
Before this international break Marseille suffered a somewhat humiliating defeat on home ground, in front of rivals PSG. It was quite a blow to their confidence especially with PSG playing in 10 for about 1 hour.
Their morale might have recovered in the meantime, although it is impossible to really appreciate Marseille’s collective confidence. We can only have a look at individual players and analyze their self esteem. If we do that we’ll realize that nothing pretty much changed in this international break for Marseille’s players. No impressive performance for a national team in order to boost up confidence.
For this game Marseille will be without their most important player, winger Payet. There’s a big possibility that Payet will be substituted by young Thauvin, an inefficient player always stepping on the nerves of teammates with his unnecessary and prolonged dribbling moves.
In Payet’s absence all balls will go through Valbuena, the atomic midget. I find his playing style (and even attitude…) very annoying as of late. He always seems to be in a hurry and never takes enough time to make the right decision.
In Ligue1 the number of average assists (decisive passes) per game is 1.3 (according to official stats). For Marseille this number is 1.00, which is lower than the Ligue1 average and it will be even lower with Payet out…
As a curiosity, for Nice the average is 1.5 assists per game.
Like always Marseille will try to compensate by getting fullbacks more involved in the game. With winger Eysseric back, Nice will be able to speculate and exploit this situation.
At the moment of writing the odds on Nice Draw No Bet are 1.95. This price will surely go down, mainly because bettors believe Marseille’s players could be tired following their involvement with national teams. But that’s gonna be the least of their worries…