Vieira set for an explosive start to life in French Riviera
Reims could struggle to adapt to Ligue 1
One quarter of the Ligue 1 teams head into the 2018-19 campaign with new managers and among the most eye-catching is Nice’s appointment of Patrick Vieira.
The former Arsenal midfielder’s first assignment is to take on newly-promoted Stade Reims and his side can edge what is likely to be a high-scoring affair.
Having made the move from New York City, Vieira has inherited an attacking group of players but an exodus of key defensive players may have left the Cote d’Azur club vulnerable at the back.
On-loan centre-back Marlon has returned to Barcelona while midfield anchor Jean Michael Seri and Maxime Le Marchand have been snapped up by Fulham.
Nice shipped more home goals than relegated Troyes last term and a rearguard comprised of youngsters could be breached by a Reims outfit who failed to notch in just one of their final 14 league games last season.
However, Reims could be hit hard by the transition from a division they won by 15 points to France’s top flight and Nice have the attacking prowess to take the spoils.
The loss of Alassane Plea to Gladbach was a major blow but they have retained Mario Balotelli, who was their top scorer in Ligue 1 last term with 18 goals, as well as pacy wingers Allan Saint-Maximin and Bassem Srarfi.
Vieira’s MLS side New York City played dynamic and enterprising football and it would be no surprise to see a similar set-up employed in the French Riviera from matchday one onwards.
Nice to win & both teams to score
1pt 3-1 general
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