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Since they had Champions league qualification, Nice came in for pre season training a bit earlier than most French clubs. With regards to that competition, Lucien Favre’s side got past Ajax in the first round and on thursday night they will go to Napoli for the final qualifying round. On that note, we should point out that Nice are at least guaranteed European football for this season. Afterall, the winner will go into the group stage of that competition, while the loser will play Europa league.

Last week Les Aiglons will have been disappointed to lose in the first round of the league to St Etienne (1-0). Since statistics show they had 60% possession, we can say with justification Favre’s side were a little unfortunate to lose that game. 

However, while we have to recognise that was a game which could have gone either way, we should add that Nice looked a bit light up front. In fact, Alessane Plea was forced into leading the line, because both Mikael Le Bihan and Balotelli were out injured. That situation hasn’t changed, so those strikers will be missing tonight. Wylan Cyprien is the other absentee, he too missed last weeks match. 

On a positive note, the Nice board have sanctioned new signings with both Wesley Sneijder and Allan Irénée Saint-Maximin arriving at the club this week. The latter was acquired from Monaco for €10 million, and he’s expected to go straight on to the wing tonight. Unfortunately, 131 times capped Dutch international Sneijder won’t be available in time, so we shall need to wait before seeing the 33 year old. 

Troyes managed to gain promotion at the end of the least season, meaning they had only been in the second league for one campaign. Interestingly, only three points separated the top six clubs in France Ligue  2, and Troyes ended third place after winning their last four games. That meant Jean-Louis Garcia’s side had to enter a play-off with Lorient, which they duly won (2-1).

What we should mention is that the visitors were just moderate on the road (6-5-8), and if the league was decided on that they would have ended a distance seventh. The Estac drew their opening match at homes to Rennes (1-1), but it should be noted they managed just 36% possession.

The last thing we would like to point out about the visitors is that they haven’t spent anything on new players, so whether they have the quality remains to be seen.


Two clubs with very different ambitions go head to head here. Nice went 14-4-1 at home during the last campaign, and that compares to 6-5-8 (away) for the visitors in a lower league. While the French league is notorious for being low scoring, the hosts should a class too good. Take them to cover -1!


Odds: 1.96 Pinnacle