France: Ligue 1: Bordeaux- Nantes
Guingamp had terrible problems dealing with the Thursday-Sunday turnaround from Europe League games last season, something we touched upon several times and in general terms, I do not feel that the format suits French clubs and it is certainly true that as a nation they have underperformed in the "other" European club competition. Having said that, Bordeaux had a "way out" of the Europa League if they had wanted it, leading 1-0 from the home leg, they were 2-0 down at Kairat with 12 minutes left to play, before finding a way back into the tie, which implies they are keen to do well, as does their team selection for the long, gruelling trip to Kazakhstan, with Almaty a 12,000 km round trip from Bordeaux and with a four hour time difference. They used ten players who battled to a 0-0 draw with Lille last Sunday for the midweek game and several others made the journey. Travel, time difference and quick turnaround is going to put huge demands on Bordeaux, who lost at home to Reims after their previous EL away day and they are still a little short handed with Contento, Diabaté (20 goals in last 40 apperances), Plasil, Sané and Sertic still sidelined, which robs them of goal threat and five potential starters.
Nantes have had a full eight days to prepare solely for this, they are unbeaten so far and are yet to concede a goal , they look stronger than in recent campaigns, have upgraded their offense and appear to have strengthened an already solid looking backline, they have all the advantages coming into this match and should be up to leaving with at least a point. Young striker Emiliano Sala who has scored a LOT of lower league goals is fit to return to the line up after missing the last two starts.
Bordeaux: Carrasso, Prior - Gajic, Guilbert, Pallois, Poundjé, Yambéré - Chantôme, Khazri, Maulun, Poko, Saivet, Traoré - Crivelli, Jussiê, Maurice-Belay, Rolan, Kiese Thelin, Touré.
Nantes: Riou, Dupé – Kwateng, Djidji, Dubois, Lenjani, Vizcarrondo – Bedoya, Deaux, R.Gomis, Rongier, Thomasson, B.Touré – Audel, Sigthorsson, Bammou, Iloki, Sala.
Nantes +0.25 ball 2.17 asian line/Sportmarket.