Lille vs Nice by Lucien
Lille continued with improving performances last time out, as the team managed to take all three points on the road against unimpressive Bastia on Saturday evening with a narrow 1:0 victory. Only goal was scored at the start of hte second halftime via De Preville in 48th minute.
Must be said that it wasn't very interesting match with neither of the teams actually having plenty of chances, but once players of Lille upped the tempo, it was obvious that they are a bit stronger side and reached the victory deservedly, while Bastia did close to nothing in attack. It was fourth game in a row without defeat for Lille, two draws and two victories, as they now stand at thirteenth position with nine points more than relegating Nancy, but without European chances via Ligue 1.
Hosts should be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation, using Eder as their central striker and Preville, Ghazi and Lopes as offensive midfielders. Defenders Adama Soumaoro (27/0), Marko Basa (20/1), Hamza Mendyl (1/0) and suspended Arcus (0/0) won't be playing here, as well as forward Martin Terrier (9/0). Yassine Benzia, Sebastien Corchia and Franck Beria are all doubts through injury.
Nice, on the other side, comes also from a narrow victory as they won over Bordeaux in front of own fans with a 2:1 result on Sunday evening. Their visitors actually took the lead, already in ninth minute via Laborde, but it was soon obvious that the players of Nice were stronger on the field.
They looked way more concrete, more mature and more as a unit, as the side quickly reverted the scoreline, in 16th minute from Balotelli's goal from the penalty spot and in 27th via Eysseric. Visiting side had more of the ball possession later on, but without making real chances in order to threaten. This way Nice continued their undefeated streak to eight matches now, having five victories and three draws, still holding the third position with just four points less than leaders from Monaco, meaning that they surely are in a must win position here.
Visitors from Nice are set to play in 4-3-3 formation with Eysseric and Belhanda as wingers, plus Balotelli as central striker. They can't count at forward Alassane Plea (25/11) who is their top scorer, but also at midfielder Wylan Cyprien (29/8) and defender Paul Baysse (18/2).
- Nice are undefeated in their last 9 away matches against Lille in all competitions.
With Lille having problems making their defensive lineup I see plenty of chances for Lille to score here. Visitors are missing two important offensive players, but still have plenty of quality in attack and I believe their absentees will influence the game less here. Value is now on their side, at least in my eyes.