Preview and Prediction
Three seasons ago, OGC Nice was a dangerous dark horse with Mario Ballotelli upfront, Dante at the back and Walter Benitez’s good form in his season debut. In their previous season, led by Lucien Favre, they were able to battle for the UCL spot and managed to advance to the UCL qualifying round. Unfortunately, they failed to repeat such performance last season. This season Nice would like to improve their position to secure at least one place for Europa League. This weekend will be their next fixture to endure their positive form by travelling to Strasbourg.
The teams’ previous matches
Ludovic Ajorque and Co did not succeed in ending their first game well after losing 1-3 from Lorient on the road. Mehdi Chahiri was able to give them the lead first at the first half. In the second half, the trouble began as the home side responded three times by Yoane Wissa, Adrian Grbic and Pierre Yves-Hamel. It was a disappointing way to start this season.
On the other hand, Nice began their campaign with a positive result. They thumped Lens 2-1 at home. The visiting side stunned them by their lead through Gael Kakuta’s penalty. Yet, the former Lyon man, Amin Gouiri scored a brace to overturn the score sheet and their defense plus Walter Benitez managed to keep them from conceding more. It was a good start for Patrick Viera’s second year in Nice.
Thierry Laurey has been in favour of 4-3-1-2 formation with the occasional transition to 4-4-2 diamond and 4-2-3-1. He relies on the main frontman Ludovic Ajorque or the South African striker Leon Mothiba supported by Mehi Chahiri and Adrien Thomasson. On the injury table, Idris Saadi is the only one ruled out for this fixture.
Meanwhile, Patrick Viera tends to opt for more offensive one with 4-3-3 formation as his favourite. The Danish striker Kasper Dolberg is the key forward with Amin Gouiri and Alexis Claude-Maurice or Rony Lopes as the wingers.
Players to watch
The top performers in Strasbourg’s squad last season are Ludovic Ajorque, the midfielder Adrien Thomasson and the Dutch wing back Kenny Lala. They are likely to be the key men this season again. Another notable one is the Belgian goalie, Matz Sels.
In Nice, the Argentine goal keeper, Walter Benitez is one of the key figures of the team along with the former Bayern man, Dante, Morgan Schneiderlin and Amin Gouiri. The former Ajax forward, Kasper Dolberg is also a notable name to watch here.
Strasbourg vs Nice Prediction
Dante and Co are likely to continue their good form here, especially considering Strasbourg’s poor form at the second half last week. They have better attacking lines with Amin Gouiri and Kasper Dolberg upfront plus Dante and Walter Benitez at the back. A narrow win for Patrick Viera’s men seems to be more plausible here.
There is no clear favourite here. The home side is priced to win at 2.20 whereas Nice’s win market is at 3.35. The odds for a draw result are only at 3.30.