France Ligue 1 – Nice v Lille Preview (27/8/16)

NICE-LOSC

Nice preview

The south coast side have won both of their matches this season, each by a 1-0 scoreline. I’m not quite sure how they managed to keep a clean sheet on both occasions, but the fact is they are situated on six points after two games. Nice have recently signed Dante from Wolfsburg and new coach Lucien Favre will hope he can steady a backline, which although statistically impressive, does look vulnerable. Nice are going to be a work in progress for a while under Favre, so he must be delighted with their start. He's yet to really develop an identity at this club and I feel like they are unpredictable at the moment.

Lille preview

LOSC haven't really started the season very well. Their embarrassing exit from the Europa League was followed up with an opening day defeat at newly promoted Metz. Truth be told, they laboured past Dijon last week and needed a late goal to prevail 1-0. Les Dogues have a string of injuries to contend with and are badly missing the influential Sofiane Boufal who scored or created most of their goals last season. Boufal might be on his way out of the club to the EPL before the end of this transfer window anyway. Something isn’t right with Lille at the moment. On paper they actually have one of the strongest squads in the whole of Ligue 1 but for some reason or another, they aren’t performing that well.

Conclusion & betting analysis

When these two teams meet, not a lot of goals are usually scored. The last seven H2H encounters have all ended under 2.5 goals, and I can see a similar outcome again today. I don’t expect much of a classic and for defences to remain on top. It feels like the sort of fixture which will either end 0-0, or be decided by a solitary goal. The way things are going at the moment, then you’d have to favour Nice to find a way to win. They can actually be backed on a DNB handicap @ a generous price, so there’s definitely some temptation. Something about them doesn't convince me right now though and I just think this could be a real 50/50 game and quite random who claims the winning goal. So I’m going to no bet this affair, although I was close to taking Nice. If Lille did get their noses in front they’d be a nightmare to break down so it isn’t worth the risk.

Prediction: 1-0
Recommended bet: None