Nice vs Bastia by Lucien
Nice walked away with an important three pointer last time out in Ligue 1, winning away from home against St Etienne narrowly with a 1:0 result. Only goal was scored in 63rd minute via Eysseric, as the visiting side actually had much more of the ball possession and dominated for whole ninety minutes, something that is rare to be seen when St Etienne plays in front of own fans.
After this victory, the team remained at the first position, but after Monaco's victory on Saturday evening, the team shares that spot with them and needs to get a victory here, continuing to be three points above third placed PSG for now. During the midweek, they visited Schalke and suffered 2:0 defeat, staying without chances to reach the knockout stage now.
Nice will be playing in 4-3-3 formation with Belhanda, Plea and Eysseric as forwards. Goalkeeper Mouez Hassen, midfielder Gautier Lloris and forward Michael Le Bihan are out from the start of the season, while injured also remain striker Mario Balotelli (6/6) even though he is back from suspension and defender Paul Baysse (9/2). Coach Lucien Favre rotated his squad during the midweek and will recall few fresh players now in the team.
Bastia, on the other side, comes from a point taken last weekend at home against Montpellier, result that can't be described as fully satisfying, since the team remains without a victory for sixth consecutive match in Ligue 1, being now really close to slipping down into the relegation zone since they have the same number of points as relegating placed Nancy.
The game itself was quite a defensive one and if one of the teams was to get a victory, that would surely be a visiting side that looked more lively on the field overall. Hosts took the lead in sixth minute with a goal from Shkiri (an own goal), but the guests tried to respond and were search for an equalizer a lot, finally finding it fifty minutes later via Mounie. Away from home Bastia has one victory and five consecutive defeats and can hardly expect something from this match.
Visitors from Bastia will be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Crivelli as central striker, plus Danic, Diallo and Saint-Maximin as offensive midfielders. Midfielder Farid Boulaya and defender Ismael Diallo are both long term absentees, right back Alexander Djiku (3/0), central defender Sebastien Squillaci (10/0) and forward Thievy (10/1) are also out injured.
- Nice have won 11 of their last 12 home matches (Ligue 1).
- SC Bastia have lost their last 5 away matches (Ligue 1).
Having lost their chances to participate at Spring in Europa League competition, Nice now fully focus on their Ligue 1 duties where they ned to impress again. Corsicans are winless since late September and doesn't inspire with confidence ahead of this game as the team looks like a serious candidate for troubles in case they don't improve the roster during January. I don't see them having special quality to resist to the home side this time out.