Nice conceded very early last round away at St Etienne and didn’t have the power to get back in the game (lost 1-0). Midfielder Seri missed through injury, and since Belhanda transferred this summer, Nice didn’t have a real leader in midfield.
Central midfielders Srarfi and Marcel are very young, lack experience and can’t deal with the responsibilities of a playmaker. The good news is that Seri is back after suspension and the overall strength should considerably increase.
Troyes were dominated on home ground last week against Rennes, and in the end they were lucky to get away with 1 point. The attacking phase was very slow, mainly because of Nivet (40 years old) and Darbion (33). A couple of years ago they were among the fastest players in France, but now they can’t cope with the Ligue 1 rhythm anymore.
Troyes have other options available, like newly arrived winger Khaoui for example, but maybe coach Garcia is waiting for him to adapt.
Troyes looked hesitant in defense, especially on the right flank, where new fullback Deplagne had difficulties cooperating with new central defender Vizcarrondo. Hosts will once again miss midfielders Le Bihan, Cyprien and striker Balotelli.
With midfielder Seri available, Nice will have an upgraded look. Troyes will be really lucky to get something out of this game. NICE -1 at 1.92
Troyes: Samassa, Zelazny – Deplagne, Giraudon, Hérelle, Traoré, Vizcarrondo, Azamoum – Bellugou, Confais, Darbion, Dingomé, Khaoui, Nivet, Pelé – Grandsir, Niane, Tinhan.
Nice: Cardinale, Benitez – Souquet, Le Marchand, Sarr, Jallet, Boscagli, Dante – Seri, Lees-Melou, Walter, Marcel, Koziello, Makengo – St-Maximin, Srarfi, Plea, Mahou