It looks like from now on we will see Nice playing in a different formation. For two rounds already Nice have been starting with 3 central defenders, while wingers acted mostly like fullbacks. In the defensive phase this system easily transforms into a 5-3-2 formation, leaving no open spaces for opponents.
The opponent was much more accessible last week in comparison to this round, but coach Puel decided to rest a couple of regulars and be in full strength for the game against PSG. Defender Bodmer, midfielders Koziello and Pied, and forward Germain started only on the bench last week away at Lorient (Nice lost 2-0).
Things should go back to normal this round and Nice should use the best possible lineup, maybe even welcome back important forward Ben Arfa who missed last week.
Nice failed to score in the last two rounds and it seems the new 5-3-2 system is not compatible with their skills, but it will be perfect for counter attacking tactics against PSG who often dominate opponents.
Hosts will once again miss keeper Hassen who is suspended.
Besides striker Ibrahimovic PSG started in the best available formula last round away at Angers. They controlled the entire game and often cornered opponents, but were soft when trying to apply the finishing touch and made opponents’ keeper look like a hero in the end (finished 0-0).
PSG looked a bit vulnerable on counters, and it should be worrying considering that opponents are actually known for being offensively soft and without much creativity.
There is a gap between departments ever since midfielder Verratti got inured. He used to be the perfect link between compartments and often made the difference with his passes. Now that gap could be more visible than ever since midfielder Matuidi also suffered an injury and most likely will sit out.
Nice aren’t exactly in good form, but they will surely be extra motivated and their new system is perfectly suited for powerful opponents like PSG. Guests’ busy schedule and their huge advantage over second place are also factors that could influence the final outcome. Nice +1 at 2.20
UPDATE: Good news for Nice who welcome back striker Ben Arfa and keeper Hassen (the Discipline Committee lifted the suspension)
Nice: Hassen, Cardinale – Baysse, Le Marchand, Bodmer, Genevois, Pied, Boscagli – Seri, Hult, Wallyson, Dada, N.Mendy, Koziello – Ben Arfa, Benrahma, A.Mendy, Germain, P.Puel
PSG: Sirigu, Trapp – Aurier, Luiz, Kimpembe, Kurzawa, Marquinhos, Maxwell, Silva – Matuidi, Rabiot, Stambouli, Motta – Cavani, Di Maria, Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi, Lucas, Ongenda.