Nice had a difficult game last round away at Metz (finished 0-0), not necessarily because the opponent was powerful but mostly because of the weather.
It snowed pretty hard during the entire game and furthermore Nice had to play in 10 for about 20 minutes after a stupid foul from Maupay.
Nice still defended lucidly while in numerical inferiority and stopped opponents’ actions from the initial stages.
Nice lost offensive midfielder Ben Arfa even before he had the chance to play. But with players like Plea, Bosetti, Eysseric and Eduardo Nice have enough vivacity upfront and the chemistry levels are increasing with each round.
Nice will welcome back forward Plea and defender Gomis after suspension but will miss forward Maupay (he is suspended but would have been only on the bench anyway).
Nantes made a decent game last round against Lille (finished 1-1). Opponents opened the score early in the game but Nantes pushed continuously, and despite Lille’s high levels of organization Nantes found the equalizer with 10 minutes to go.
Nantes had a difficult start of 2015 and they are yet to get their first Ligue1 victory of the year. Before the winter break Nantes’ major strength was the defense but ever since key defender Djilobodji left for the African Cup of Nations the defensive potential diminished considerably. Now things should go back to normal since Djilobodji will return to the squad.
Nantes will also welcome back winger Gakpe after he was suspended last round.
Hosts may be in a better form but Nantes aren’t such comfortable opponents as their 2015 results suggest. Balanced game is foreseen with Nice taking charge but struggling to open up the opponent.
UPDATE: Besides Djilobodji Nantes will also welcome back fullback Cissokho after injury.
Nice: Hassen, Pouplin – Amavi, So.Diawara, Genevois, K.Gomis, Palun, G.Puel – Albert, Carlos Eduardo, Eysseric, Hult, Koziello, N.Mendy, Vercauteren – Bauthéac, Bosetti, B.Constant, Plea, Thioub
Nantes: Dupé, Ré.Riou – Alhadhur, I.Cissokho, Djilobodji, Veigneau, Vizcarrondo – Hansen, Bedoya, Bessat, Deaux, R.Gomis, Nkoudou, Veretout – Bammou, Is.Bangoura, Iloki, Niane