Preview - Nice vs PSG March 18 2018

Started by Harry85, Mar 17, 2018, 09:46 AM

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Mar 17, 2018, 09:46 AM Last Edit: Mar 17, 2018, 09:48 AM by Harry85
Match Day 30
Nice vs Paris Saint Germain
Sunday, March 18th, 2018
20:00 pm (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Allianz Riviera

Last five matches form: D L D W W
Average goals per match: 1.3
Average goals against per match: 1.4
Top Scorer: Mario Balotelli (14)

Paris Saint Germain:
Last five matches form: W W L W W
Average goals per match: 3.1
Average goals against per match: 0.7
Top Scorer: Edinson Cavani (24)

Nice's main selection problem comes at left back with regular starter Racine Coly missing out through suspension. The spine of PSG's side looks to have been severely weakened ahead of this matchup. The league leaders may well have the squad to cope, but losing Marquinhos at the back and Neymar through injury, in addition to midfield anchor Thiago Motta through suspension, would be enough to hurt any side.

Not a great deal on the line here, with PSG all but crowned Champions, and Nice surely too far adrift of the European positions to make an impact. Most teams tend to find a little extra motivation for the visit of Ligue 1's Galacticos though and we expect this to be a competitive affair.

If Nice can post a similar attacking performance as they did when running riot at Guingamp last week, we could be in for a cracker. Allasane Plea in particular will be hoping to keep up his current form having rattled in four in that match.

As good as Nice were last week going forward, it would have been no surprise had it been 6-6 against Guingamp as they themselves looked wide open at the back at times. Should they give up as much space against PSG, they will be mercilessly exploited, Neymar or no Neymar.

PSG do look weaker than usual on paper, and may have to work for the win but should still possess too much firepower here.

 Prediction: Nice 2 - 4 Paris Saint Germain


Half time: 1 - 1
Full time: 1 - 2
Shots: 14 - 19
Shots on target: 4 - 7
Corner Kicks: 5 - 4
Possession: 41% - 59%

Arbiter Francois Letexier kept his cards largely in his pocket during this encounter, only taking the name of PSG's Marco Veratti.

On top in the stats, this may look like a fairly routine away win for the League leaders. They did have to come from behind to secure the victory though with Nice making life tough at times.

A frenetic opening period saw both sides rattle the woodwork. First Mario Balotelli's header being palmed onto the post by Walter Benitez, although Balotelli was pulled up for a push so the effort wouldn't have stood. Then Edinson Cavani really should have done better when following up his own shot, finding the frame of the goal when it looked easier to score.

In the 17th minute PSG were undone by a lightning fast counter attack. Allan Saint-Maximin being played through by Alassane Plea, outpacing the defence before slotting the ball across Alphonse Areola and into the bottom corner.

The lead didn't last long. It was only four minutes in fact until Angel Di Maria burst down the left hand side, breaking into the box and powering a low effort at Benitez. The keeper did get a hand to the ball but couldn't prevent it ending up in the back of the net. 1-1 it stayed until half time.

This game really could have gone either way in the second half, with Mario Balotelli proving a constant menace for Nice, although the Italian was let down by some wayward finishing. In the 74th minute Balotelli came oh so close to giving his side the lead, doing well to get his head to a corner but the effort only finding the crossbar. Would Nice's spurned chances prove costly?

When the winner did come it was via the unlikely source of Dani Alves's forehead. The little Brazilian racing into the box to get onto the end of an Adrien Rabiot cross in the 82nd minute to find the bottom corner.

1-2 is how it finished. Nice remain in eighth, whilst PSG stretch their lead at the top to 17 points.

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