As expected Nice were trashed last round away at Marseille (lost 4-0). Fullbacks had no idea what hit them and besides fouling there was no other way of stopping opponents.
Central defenders didn’t had an easy time either as the support from central midfield was not constant. Actually young central midfielder Mendy was the only one providing a helping hand for defenders. This round there will be even more holes to exploit as Nice play on home ground and they will be more daring.
Central defender Bodmer should return after injury.
Striker Cvitanich started on the bench last round due to an injury, but by now he is fully fit and should be in the lineup. But even with Cvitanich present Nice have huge problems in creating dangerous chances as they rely exclusively on long balls from the flanks or attempts from outside the box.
This strategy of Nice is suicidal, especially against clubs like Metz who are highly organized, concentrate on defending on two lines and also have enough resources to strike deadly on counters.
There’s a big competition upfront for Metz and things look very promising in that department. All available strikers are newly arrived and seem to be in-form and determined to give their all. Maiga (loaned-in from West Ham) is in good confidence and we could even see a bicycle-kick from him (in his first game for Metz), Venezuelan striker Falcon scored the winner last round (Metz won 2-1 against Lyon), while Belorussian Krivets moved around well and participated in many actions. Regardless who will start upfront for Metz, they have enough potential to take advantage of Nice’s defensive holes.
Metz will miss midfielder Rocchi who suffered an injury last week.
Nice will definitely try and take charge of the game, both because they are at home and because Metz will invite them to. But hosts have low levels of creativity and luck won’t be enough to open up highly organized Metz. Metz +0.25 at 1.94
UODATE: Newly arrived midfielder Carlos Eduardo is in the squad for Nice. Newly transferred Florent Malouda is not qualified to play yet for Metz.
Nice: Hassen, Pouplin – Amavi, Bodmer, Diawara, Genevois, Gomis, Palun, G.Puel – Albert, Bauthéac, Eduardo, Eysseric, Hult, Mendy, Vercauteren – Bosetti, Cvitanich, Maupay, Plea
Metz: J.Carrasso, Oberhauser – Bussmann, Choplin, Marchal, Métanire, Milan, Rivierez – Krivets, Lejeune, NDaw, NDoye, NGbakoto, Sarr, Philipps – Falcon, Andrada, Maiga