Although they lost 1-0 Nice made a decent game last round away at Monaco.
Young Maupay started again upfront while top scorer Cvitanich played for only half an hour. He couldn’t achieve much but it could be seen he’s got ambition to regain his old form.
Nice excelled in discipline and this allowed them to constantly push the game forward and put an opponent like Monaco in difficulty.
Defensively they weren’t perfect but the spaces given away were not that big and only because of names like Berbatov or Rodriguez the opponent could speculate.
Reims’ coach Fournier changed the system last round and went from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2. He wasn’t very inspired in doing so as he renounced a central midfielder. Before last round the central midfield in 3 was actually Reims’ major strength. It was the engine that made the offensive phase possible and also the first line of defense. And to think that all this sacrifice was just for adding another striker, namely Charbonnier, who missed an incredible chance with the empty net…
Reims ended up losing 1-0 at home against Sochaux, in game in which they agitated a bit in opponent’s half but were far from creating real pressure.
Defensively they couldn’t address the major issue, defending the flanks. Fullbacks are slow and easily outrun, while central defenders seem to lack intuition and are always one step behind opponents. Many of the goals conceded by Reims this season came following long balls delivered from the wings.
There are no news yet regarding the situation of central defender Tacalfred and fullback Signorino.
Nice may not have an in-form striker but they definitely posses the weapons to exploit Reims’ weakness. Nice’s wingers Pied and Bautheac are very active each game, while central midfielder Eysseric keeps oscillating between one side and another. They are the ones able to create actions on the flanks and deliver dangerous balls inside the penalty box, balls against Reims have problems defending. Nice to win at 2.00
UPDATE: Central defender Pejcinovic is back for Nice after a couple of weeks of injury.
Nice: Hassen, Ospina – Amavi, Bodmer, Genevois, Kolodziejczak, Palun, Pejcinovic, G.Puel – Abriel, Brüls, Digard, Eysseric, N.Mendy, Pied – Bauthéac, Bruins, Cvitanich, Maupay, P.Puel
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Weber, Conte, Mandi, Turan – Albaek, Ca, Oniangue, Devaux, Fortes, F.Ayité, Krychowiak, Diego – De Préville, Courtet, Charbonnier, Atar