Although they played in 10 for about half an hour Nice made an excellent game last round away at St Etienne (won 4-1). From an offensive point of view Nice is the most productive team in the tournament with 20 goals scored so far.
Forward Ben Arfa is simply on fire and scored twice last round and delivered many key passes. Young midfielder Koziello scored his first goal for the senior squad and also delivered an assist. In-fact all players involved in the attacking phase are in good form and confidence.
Defensively Nice are only average but that is no reason to worry since their motto is to outscore opponents. The defensive strength will be diminished this round since central defender Le Marchand and defensive midfielder Mendy will be suspended.
After scoring early in the game Nantes focused mostly on defending the result (won 1-0 away at Lille). This strategy paid off because opponents were toothless but it will be suicidal to have the same attitude against Nice.
So far Nantes haven’t been involved in high scoring games, with the exception of the encounter against PSG when the Parisians imposed the rythm (PSG won 4-1). There are good chances we will see the same kind of game this round, since Nice are the ones more resourceful and most likely they will be controlling the game.
Nantes will be forced to adapt and make the most of the spaces left open when Nice advance in numbers.
Central defender Cana suffered an injury in the midweek game and is doubtful.
Whenever Nice play “over” should be considered, regardless the opponent. Team news also favor goals and it’s a wonder how come bookies failed to adjust prices. Over 2.25 goals at 2.16
UPDATE: Nice will miss forwards Plea and Le Bihan. Nantes welcome back fullback Sabaly. Same bet
Nice: Hassen, Cardinale – Baysse, Boscagli, Bodmer, Ricardo, Correia – N.Mendy, Koziello, Seri, Wallyson, Pied, Mah.Traoré, Dada – Germain, Ben Arfa, Benrahma, A.Mendy, P.Puel
Nantes: Dupé, Riou – Cana, Djidji, Dubois, Kwateng, Sabaly, Vizcarrondo, Lenjani – Adryan, Deaux, Rongier, Thomasson, A. Touré, B. Touré – Bammou, Bedoya, Sigthorsson, Iloki