Nice go to Dutch side Vitesse on Thursday in the UEFA Europa League as they look to finish off Group K play with a victory ahead of the knockout rounds in the new year.
GelreDome, Arnhem, Netherlands The 07 Dec 2017 8:05 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: Vitesse have lost five straight home matches in Europe.
Expert Verdict: There is very little left to play for in this group other than the bit of prize money that is on offer for each result. Both teams are likely to not put much of a priority on it as a result, and a draw could just result from it as such.
Henk Fraser will be missing center back duo Arnold Kruiswijk and Maikel van der Werff due to injuries.
There isn't a whole lot to play for here on paper, but players are always looking for a chance to impress so this is a chance for 27 year old Bryan Linssen to do that. The winger scored in the draw against Lazio, and even at a late-bloomer age, he could be set for a move to a bigger club if he can continue his recent exploits in front of goal against the bigger teams in the group.
Vitesse have two losses, a win, and two draws in their last five matches:
1-0 loss at Feyenoord
2-0 home win vs ADO
1-1 draw at Lazio (UEL)
4-2 loss at Groningen
0-0 home draw vs PEC Zwolle
Defenders:Lelieveld, Miazga, Kashia, Faye
Midfielders:Serero, Foor, Mount
Forwards:Rashica, Linssen, Matavz
Lucien Favre will be missing center midfielder Wylan Cyprien and forward Mickael Le Bihan through injuries.
Nice don't have to do anything in this match if they don't choose to do so, but it will be a good time for them to try and keep up their positive momentum. One of their players with some of that at the moment is Mario Balotelli. The enigmatic striker scored again at the weekend and he had two goals in the recent win over Zulte. He will look to follow those up with even more.
Nice have three wins, a loss, and a draw in their last five matches:
3-1 home win vs Metz
1-2 win at Toulouse
0-5 home loss vs Lyon
3-1 home win vs Zulte (UEL)
1-1 draw at Caen
Defenders:Souquet, Le Marchand, Dante, Jallet
Midfielders:Koziello, Seri, Burner, Lees Melou
Nice dominated Vitesse when they met for the first time back in September. They walked away with three points with a 3-0 win via two goals from Alassane Plea and one from Allan Saint-Maximin.
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Vitesse are at 9/5 to win, a draw is at 23/10, and a Nice win is at 29/20.
This match is very straightforward in terms of permutations. Vitesse can move up as high as third place with a win and some help in the other match, but no matter what they do they are out of the running for qualification.
Meanwhile, Nice are going to be going to the round of 32 as the second place side. Lazio have ran the rule over the group and cannot be caught, so Nice will have to settle for second and hope they don't draw one of the bigger sides when the draw is made.
Vitesse have lost both of their home matches in the group stages so far. Overall at home this season, they have just two wins, three draws, and four losses. Nice came through UCL qualifcation with a draw and a loss, and they have had a win and a loss in this group so far. Overall, they have got just three wins, two draws, and six losses away from home this season.
Nice have had a busier schedule of late, including midweek matches for the past three weeks counting this one, so they could be giving Vitesse a slight edge.
Both teams to score is at 4/7 for yes at Ladbrokes.
There is very, very little left to play for in this match, and Nice's poor record of late doesn't mean they are likely to be the ones trying very hard. So Vitesse could just get a result from this home match.