Both teams drew last round but in the field the actual performances were really disappointing.
First let’s start with Sochaux that somehow managed to take 1 point from Ajaccio (finished 1-1). The equalizer was scored in the dying seconds of the game after a corner.
[restrict paid=true level=1] Nobody should give Sochaux much credit for that draw, instead the ones responsible are Ajaccio’s players, and their coach of course. Ajaccio took the lead early in the game after which they simply invited Sochaux to attack.
Sochaux may be defensively fragile, but opponents need to have at least shy attacking attempts, as the ball won’t enter the net by itself…
In comparison to last round Sochaux will miss midfielder Nogueira, the one who scored the equalizer. Nogueira transferred out Philadelphia Union. Besides him, Sochaux lost another important player, in-fact the best player in the team, right fullback Corchia who left for Lille.
Sochaux’s Ligue1 fate seems to be sealed already and the only thing making a difference from now on will be individual efforts of players wishing to prove themselves. It can be the case for loaned-in striker Jordan Ayew, for the Zambians Sunzu and Sinkala newly arrived in France, or for other players looking for new teams at the end of the season.
Just like Herve Renard is more of a joke and not a real coach, Sochaux won’t be a team anymore.
Sochaux are still without central defender Kante (injured) and defensive midfielder Sinkala (suspended).
As a side note, Corchia was Sochaux’s captain at the beginning of the season (left now), central defender Kante was captain in 2014 (injured now), and Nogueira was captain last round (left now)…
Opponents Nantes were dominated on home ground last round by Reims. In the end they managed to win a hard fought point (0-0). At the beginning of 2014 Nantes looked a bit fragile at the back, but after last round it seems defensive players regained confidence and finally picked up some form.
In comparison to last round Nantes will miss midfielder Veretout and forward Aristigueta. Veretout can be replaced by Trebel who’s got a point to prove (he refused to sign a new contract because being mostly a bench warmer, but said he wish to stay at Nantes), while Aristigueta is only a reserve.
The difference in organization between Nantes and Sochaux is just huge. While Nantes excel in discipline and lucidity, Sochaux have a chaotic and loose playing style. I believe this will tip the balance in Nantes’ favor.
Nantes DNB at 1.81 with low to medium confidence.
UPDATE: Midfielder Trebel was sent to 2nd team because of his refusal to sign a new contract, but it doesn’t matter anymore as Veretout recovered from injury for Nantes. [/restrict]