Our prediction for this Ligue 1 match:
Nice will be aiming to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to PSG when they welcome Troyes to their Allianz Riviera on Sunday afternoon. Les Aiglons’ display in the Parc des Princes defeat was anything but poor, which is probably the main reason why home win should be considered. With the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Ross Barkley, and Nicolas Pepe in the starting XI, Nice are surely capable of beating Troyes on home soil. Defender Jean-Clair Todibo is back from suspension for the hosts.
The visitors, on the other hand, are likely to stick to their attacking style of play. Troyes have already netted 16 goals in the new Ligue 1 campaign, and given their shaky defence (18 goals conceded), we are tempted to put our money on over 2.5 goals. Both Rony Lopes and Karim Azamoum are injured for the visiting side.
Highlighted Player (Nicolas Pépé):
Born in France to parents of Ivorian descent, Nicolas Pepe became a full Ivory Coast international in 2016. In a symbolic twist of events, Pepe was handed his Ivory Coast debut in a goalless draw against his birth nation France days after receiving his first-ever call-up.
Pepe began his career in the lower leagues in Poitiers in 2012, before moving to Angers a year later. Having proven his qualities in the second-string side, Pepe was instated in Angers’ first team in 2013. Four years later – which included a season-long loan spell at Orleans – Nicolas Pepe was transferred to Lille. Les Dogues beat several sides to the signature of this pacey winger who is no stranger to scoring goals. Quick with his feet, Pepe can be deployed on the right wing and as a centre-forward.
The Ivory Coast international is unpredictable in his movement and not easy to keep an eye on, especially because of his powerful left foot.
Highlighted Team (Troyes):
Founded in 1986, Troyes are considered one of the youngest clubs in French Ligue 1. Troyes returned to the top flight at the end of the 2016/2017 season, with the team finishing the regular season in third place in the Ligue 2 standings. Jean Louis Garcia’s men proved their worth in the promotion play-offs, with the team beating Lorient in the two-legged tie.
Troyes are well known for their blue shirts, but they wear white when playing on the travels. Stade de l’Aube is the club’s home ground and the stadium can hold up to 20.400 spectators. The venue was built in 1924, but it was renovated on two occasions (1956, 2004). The club have yet to win the Ligue 1 trophy, but in 1956 they made it to the French Cup final.
Troyes faced Sedan in the title game and they were totally outplayed by Louis Dugauguez’s troops (3-1) at Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir. Roger Courtois’ team were three goals down after 57 minutes, but five minutes later Fernand De Vlaeminck scored a consolation goal for the Stade de l’Aube outfit.