The second round of fixtures in the Ligue 1 will come to a closure when Nice host Marseille at the Allianz Riviera on Wednesday.
Nice find themselves in a good position after winning their first two games. They are in fourth place after the weekend, despite having played a game less than many teams. Dante scored a stoppage-time winner as Nice beat Angers 2-1 in their opening game. Fellow defender Christophe Herelle scored the other goal for Nice in that game. The match was heading for a draw, but Dante popped up to give his team all three points.
Nice traveled to face Nimes in their second game. Two early goals from Wylan Cyprien and Ignatius Ganago put Nice in a comfortable position. Nimes got one back before half-time, which gave them confidence. Nice left-back Racine Coly received a second yellow card in the second half which hampered their chances. But they managed to hold on for the win in spite of great pressure from Nimes.Embed from Getty Images
Coly will be suspended for the game against Marseille courtesy of that red card. Youngster Andy Pelmard could be called upon to replace him in the side. Centre-backs Malang Sarr can also fill in at left-back if needed. Even though Nice finished seventh last season, their attack was a glaring weakness. They scored just 30 goals, and only the bottom two sides scored fewer. The first two games suggest that they have improved in that department.
They will face Marseille, who have not enjoyed the first two games of the season like Nice. Marseille hosted Stade Reims in the first game and lost 2-0. Boulaye Dia and Suk Hyun-jun scored the goals for Reims. Marseille had 64% possession in the game, but they only had two shots on target. In contrast, Reims had five efforts on target despite having less of the ball.Embed from Getty Images
Marseille travelled to Nantes in their second game, and the match ended in a goalless draw. Their attack was uninspiring again, as they failed to threaten the Nantes goal. Dario Benedetto made his first start for the club against Nantes. Benedetto was signed from Boca Juniors in the summer. Dimitri Payet will be the player Marseille will look to for creative inspiration in the coming games.
The head to head record suggests one clear winner. Marseille have won the last five meetings between the sides, scoring ten goals in the process. The last meeting between these two ended in a 1-0 loss for Nice. Mario Balotelli scored in that game for Marseille, but the striker is no longer at the club. The onus will be on Benedetto and Valerie Germain to come up with the goals this time.
Nice vs Marseille Prediction
The history is with Marseille, but the recent form favours Nice. It will be a close game, and both sides should score. The total goals should be over 2.5 in the game. Marseille have not scored yet this season, but they have the quality in their side to give Nice a tough match.