Sochaux bounced back and regained some confidence after being constantly on the relegation places since the season started.
They went through many changes since last season and only now it looks like the waters are calming down. Playmaker Boudebouz made peace with everyone and gave up transferring thoughts. He can now fully concentrate on doing the best job he can at Sochaux.
Hosts can be pretty dangerous as they have some decent players. Maybe their most in form man is winger Roudet. He will return now after missing last round.
Roudet can be used both as an assist servant or as a finisher. He’s got great vision and also shooting power. But the real finisher upfront is Privat. He’s no Maiga (last’s season top scorer for them) but is a more than decent player, very dangerous in aerial actions.
For some time already Sochaux have some important players out, like defensive midfielder Doubai or defenders Carlao and Peybernes. In spite of that substitutes are fulfilling their tasks with meticulosity and discipline.
All players are very determined each time their enter the field. The recent series of good results are mainly due to their warrior attitude.
Nice is still in a transition period, as coach Puel says himself. Newly transferred Cvitanich proved to be a true asset. He can create numeric superiority, make assists, score, you name it, he’s the orchestra man.
But besides him they have some issues upfront. Winger Bautheac, Cvitanich’s main partner in creation, got injured and will miss. On the other side of the field, they have winger Pied but he’s not running at full speed just yet, or if he is… he may lack some skills… Pied is not really able to surprise defenders, no matter if we’re talking about simple dribbling moves or through balls.
The pair of central defenders Civelli and Pejcinovic will be available again, after the defense was improvised a couple of rounds due to injuries or suspensions. Normally these guys are solid and should be able to create tight wall, but almost always they fail. Just like Nancy’s defenders, they are used with scoring goals and it’s not rarely we see them advancing in the opponent’s half. There is not set piece that they miss…
On the bright side they found a replacement for right back Palun that was always having mind trips. They are using Genevois and although he’s not the most talented player out there, he’s got what it takes to be a decent enough player.
This will be a tough game between 2 in form teams. Sochaux are always determined whenever they play, every game seems to be their last one and players run till exhaustion. Given their enthusiasm and the relatively comfortable situation for Nice, hosts will have a small advantage here (besides playing at home). Otherwise these teams are equal.