Nice vs Marseille by Isaiah
Nice surprised everyone with a 2:1 victory away to Bordeaux last weekend, as the team got their second consecutive Ligue 1 victory and has significantly improved their morale. However, it has to be said that the visitors were very lucky, as the game didn't go that well for them, being down in the scoreline from 33rd minute when Rolan brought the hosts into lead from penalty spot.
They were losing till 66th minute when Amavi equalized while the visitors were more than lucky to snatch all three points with a goal in last moments by Plea. Truth to be told, hosts were a bit better during the game, but also got punished for not using their chances and playing a bit more passive with the ball in their feet than they should have. As said, this was second victory for Nice, who climbed up to tenth position and are now safe with eight points more than relegation worried sides. They have only one victory in last seven matches at home in all competitions and no doubt that the team will look to get another one and improve their morale even further. Hatem Ben Arfa will not debut here for the club, as the French Federation refused to validate his contract. Captain, defensive midfielder Didier Digard (7/0) and central defender Mathieu Bodmer (11/0) will have to be patient before returning to action as they are still injured. Right back Lloyd Palun (14/1) is out at African Cup of Nations. Injured are also couple of more players who are really long term absentees without a single minute played this season.
Marseille, on the other side, comes from a much needed and very important 2:1 home victory over Guingamp last Sunday evening. However, it has to be said that the three pointer came in a very tough way, as both teams looked quite passive all the way in first eighty minutes. Only in last ten minutes the game got completely open, with the home side having more will to risk and were awarded for their effort.
Hosts got the lead with a goal from Lemina in 85th minute, player who entered the game just ten minutes before. Just when the visitors opened up as well, they conceded the second goal in 89th minute by Gignac. In the last moments before the final whistle, hosts committed big mistake in defense than led to a penalty kick from which Beauvue reduced the deficit to final 2:1 result, while central defender Fanni got red carded. With this victory they kept the touch with leading Lyon as they are one point below the top of the table, but still having three points more than third placed PSG. Visitors will now have to play without suspended central defender Rod Fanni (13/1) and left back Benjamin Mendy (17/0), who is also suspended for this game. Offensive midfielder Abdel Barrada (7/0) remains injured, while tied with African Cup of Nations are central defender Nicolas N'Koulou (18/2), forward Andre Ayew (16/4) and midfielder Alexander N'Doumbou (no performance yet this season).
Open game is expected here as most of these teams' matches are. Marseille is in a must win situation since they didn't win last five away games and will surely try to attack from the first moment making the game as open as possible - maybe even something similar to their previous meeting when they won 4:0. All in all, the game should be very open, with odds of 2.00 and above making us a great value bet this time.