Nice will host an in-form Nantes side at the Allianz Riviera on Saturday in the Ligue 1.
Nice are in seventh place, and they have accumulated 52 points thus far. With three games left in the season, their ambitions are all but over. The highest they can get to is fifth place, which is currently occupied by Montpellier. The most they can do is now round of their season with a series of wins. After Nantes, Saint-Etienne and Monaco will be their opponents.
Compared to other sides, Nice’s season has been an odd one. They have scored 27 league goals, and only two teams have scored less. Those are Guingamp and Caen, both of whom are in the relegation zone. To compensate for their weak attack, Nice’s defence has been outstanding. Only Lille have conceded less than Nice’s 31 goals this season. Interestingly, Nice’s top scorer Allan Saint-Maximin has scored just six goals this season. Thirty-five players in the Ligue 1 have managed more this season.
Nice have won two out of their last five league games. Last week they faced Champions PSG and produced an excellent performance to clinch a 1-1 draw. Ignatius Ganago opened the scoring for Nice, but Neymar equalized for PSG, and the points were shared. Nice were defensively solid in that game and had just 38% possession. Most of their games in the league have followed a similar pattern.Embed from Getty Images
Nantes will lay in wait for them, who are the league’s best side based on recent form. They have won their last five league games, which no other team has managed. That run has lifted them to 11th in the table, and the worries of relegation have been wiped out completely. Coach Vahid Halilhodzic can now aim to finish in the top half, which will be a great achievement.
In the last five games, Nantes have scored a whopping 13 goals. Last week they faced Dijon and demolished them 3-0. They have also beat sides like PSG, Lyon, and Marseille recently. This tells us that their performances have mattered as they have defeated some of the top teams in the league. Nantes have goalscorers across the pitch, but Kalifa Coulibaly has been in great form recently.
The striker has scored four goals in his side’s last five games. He scored against Dijon and netted a brace against Amiens in a 3-2 win. The recent form suggests Nantes will be favorites, but the head to head record suggests otherwise. In the last three meetings between these two sides, Nice have won two and drawn the other. The reverse fixture ended in a 2-1 win for Nice back in September.
Nice vs Nantes Prediction
This game is tough to call, but it will be tight. Nice have been defensively great at home, and that should continue. The total goals should be less than 2.5 in this game. It should be a close game, and a draw seems a likely outcome.
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