Impressive display from Nice last round away at Caen (won 3-2). Nice were 2-1 down at the break but managed to bounce back thanks to collective efforts in defense and inspiration upfront.
The left flank with fullback Amavi and winger Bautheac was the major strength and both mentioned players managed to score. Unfortunately for Nice striker Cvitanich is still out-of-form and once again he was only a bench warmer last round. Replacement Plea is a talented player (also scored last round) but is quite young and needs more experience.
Although recent results aren’t that encouraging Nice are always more determined when playing on home ground and are always willing to push beyond any limits in order to achieve their goals.
St Etienne lost in the midweek Europa League game away at Dnepr and failed to qualify for the European spring. St Etienne always used the best team possible when playing in Europe, but even so, they only finished last in the group.
Confidence may be a bit low after the disappointing Europa League exit and this could affect their performance against an opponent bent on giving everything in-front of own fans.
Most likely St Etienne will once again miss midfielder Clement and defender Sall.
St Etienne rely a lot on attacking midfielders both for creating and converting actions, but Nice sometimes defend in numbers and agglomerate the midfield so guests will have a hard time finding some open spaces.
Most probably this encounter will be played mostly in midfield with many actions ending even before they truly began. Remains to be seen if either side will find the net and how will opponents react afterwards.
UPDATE: Nice welcome back midfielder Digard after injury. Guests’ midfielder Clement will also make a comeback after injury.
Nice: Hassen, Pouplin – Amavi, Bodmer, So.Diawara, Genevois, Palun, G.Puel – Digard, Albert, Carlos Eduardo, Eysseric, Koziello, N.Mendy, Vercauteren – Bauthéac, Bosetti, Cvitanich, Pléa, Maupay
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Brison, L.Perrin, F.Pogba, Tabanou, Théophile-Catherine, Baysse – Lemoine, Clément, Cohade, M.Chapuis, Diomandé – Corgnet, Gradel, Mollo, Monnet-Paquet, Van Wolfswinkel, Hamouma