OM go in search of their 4th victory in a row, something not achieved since May earlier this year. But hard fought victories over Lille, Nantes and Braga have given OM a push as they look to claw their way back up the table towards the European spots, currently 7 points off the 3rd Champion’s League place.
Michel will be exceptionally happy with 2 clean sheets from the 3 previous games, but the results have been quite tight and Nice have managed 26 goals this season, second only to psg, and 8 more than OM have mustered, though Nice have conceded 4 more than OM.
Away from home Nice have travelled well picking up 11 points from a possible 18, only suffering 1 defeat, surprisingly at the hands of Gazelec Ajaccio in week 11.
Michel has a rather depleted squad for this game with Cabella, Diarra and Nkoulou all suspended for the game, while Alessandrini and Dja Djedje miss out through injury and Diary is still not ready to play. The full squad is made up of: Mandanda, Pelé, De Ceglie, Manquillo, Mendy, Rekik, Rolando, Sparagna, Barrada, Isla, Lopez, Romao, Sarr, Silva, Zambo-Anguissa, Batshuayi, Nkoudou, Ocampos.
Likely starting 11:
Manquillo, Rolando, Rekik, Mendy
Nkoudou, Barrada, Ocampos
Attacking-wise, OM should fair ok with Nkoudou and Ocampos getting some recent game time and performing well against Braga mid-week, however the big question will be how OM cope with former talisman Ben Arfa and Germain, who have netted 11 goals between them so far this seaosn. With Nkoulou and Diarra absent there is a gaping hole through the centre of the team. Silva and Romao will be expected to protect the centre back pairing of Rolando and Rekik, pushing any Nice attacks out wide for Manquillo and Mendy to deal with.
Likely starting 11 for Nice:
Pied, Bodmer, Merchand, Pereira
Koziello, Mendy, Seri
Ben Arfa, Germain
With only 2 places and 3 points separating these 2 teams, it is likely that Sunday afternoon’s game will be a tight affair, but with many attacking opportunities for both teams. Expect an end-to-end game, that should hope to be entertaining to the neutral. (Disclaimer – bet on 0-0 borefest now!)