Even if they drew 1-1 with Barcelona, Nice had some disappointing performances in the pre-season friendlies. It was expected for their defense to be looser than last season since keeper Ospina and central defender Pejcinovic left, but conceding 10 goals in 3 games is just too much.
Both Ospina and Pejcinovic were important players and Nice don’t have proper replacements for those positions. They have transferred-in veteran central defender Diawara who buried Marseille many times last season due to unforced decisive errors.
The rest of the players that arrived are only of average value and were mostly substitutes at their former teams.
Nice’s most important players will be offensive midfielders Bautheac and Eysseric, as well as striker Cvitanich. Last season Cvitanich was unrecognizable due to the poor form, while the other two often got injured. Replacements are nowhere near the same value so Nice can become an easy prey.
19 years old Hassen will most likely be Nice’s goalkeeper in this game since newly arrived Delle (who should be the regular keeper) suffered an injury.
Toulouse also lost a couple of key players and the ones that transferred-in don’t seem to have the necessary qualities in order to compensate.
First of all Israeli striker Ben Basat transferred-out. Even if he didn’t had a guaranteed place in lineup, they could always count on him to enter the game and tilt the balance.
Defender Zebina also left and even if Toulouse have plenty of central defenders his experience will surely be missed.
But the most important losses are those of talented fullback Aurier and play-maker Chantome, both of them at PSG now. Aurier used to play an important role both for the defense and the offense, while Chantome was the creative brain and whenever he missed Toulouse found it almost impossible to open up opponents.
Just like the odds suggest this game should be very balanced. It may be a bit too early trying to predict how these teams will perform without a couple of important players on each side.
UPDATE: Besides keeper Delle, Nice will also miss important fullback Kolodziejczak and midfielder Traore. Toulouse will be without fullback Ninkov and midfielder Aguilar.
Nice: Cardinale, Hassen – Amavi, Bodmer, Genevois, K.Gomis, Palun, G.Puel – Albert, Bauthéac, Digard, Hult, Eysseric, N.Mendy, Pied – Bosetti, Cvitanich, Honorat, Maupay
Toulouse: Ahamada, Boucher –Veskovac, Grigore, Akpa Akpro, Matheus, Spajic, Is.Sylla, Moubandje – Sirieix, Bodiger, Roman, Regattin, E.Didot, Trejo – Braithwaite, Ben Yedder, Pesic