OGC Nice

V

Allianz Riviera

15/02/2018 | 6:00 pm

FC Lokomotiv Moscow

V

Allianz Riviera

15/02/2018 | 6:00 pm

In a sentence: Nice host Lokomotiv Moscow in the first leg of the Europa League Round of 32.

Last time: Thursday evening’s encounter will be the first time the sides have met.

This time: Nice are 5/6 to triumph with Lokomotiv available at 10/3 and the draw at 12/5.

You might remember: Lucien Favre masterminding a third-place Ligue 1 finish last year. The Eaglets went on to face Serie A hotshots Napoli in a Champions League qualifying match but subsequently lost 4-0 on aggregate.

Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

Nice moved into their Allianz Riviera stadium back in 2013

The French Riviera-based club may be the favourites to earn a first leg advantage, but this is by no means a foregone conclusion. Nice have been inconsistent all season, trouncing champions Monaco 4-0 one week and then losing to rock bottom Metz another. The current three-game losing run is in stark contrast to their opponents who are unbeaten in their last seven league matches.

Nice are 5/6 to triumph on the night and much will depend on which Balotelli takes to the field. To his credit, the maverick Italian has already eclipsed his debut season’s tally and is one shy of 20 goals. Balotelli is capable of the spectacular and this ability may be needed to unlock opposition high on confidence.

Lokomotiv Moscow are 10/3 to claim a momentous victory and put one foot in the next round. Barring a major slip up, the Red-Greens will win their first league title in 14 years, overcoming more esteemed sides in the process and this should stand them in good stead on the continent. Lokomotiv have no reason to be overawed when they come up against Nice and the odds look to be worth a little flutter.

The draw is 12/5 and seems unlikely given the respective form of both clubs. Lokomotiv have momentum and will look to capitalise on an underperforming Nice backline, while the hosts seek a morale-boosting win to revive their flailing season.

Balotelli is 2/1 favourite to score first and put himself in the shop window. The former Inter and AC Milan striker is reportedly a summer target for a host of European clubs and his credentials will be boosted with a notable contribution against the Russians.

Versatile attacker Aleksei Miranchuk is 15/1 to notch the game’s final effort and the 22-year-old is good value for money. Miranchuk is enjoying his football and isn’t afraid to strike from distance.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

Saint-Maximin to notch any time during the 90 at 6/1. The ex-Monaco starlet is blessed with skill, power and electric pace and has two goals from six Europa League appearances so far.

2

We fancy:

Both teams to score at 10/11. This should be a thoroughly entertaining contest and well worth a watch, with both teams certainly capable of getting on the scoresheet.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

Lokomotiv to win 4-1 at 100/1. It would be some result if the visitors can come away with such a heavy win and almost put the tie out of sight.

Written by Nick Valerio

Nick Valerio is a football fanatic whose writing has appeared online and in print. A Manchester United and Roma fan, Nick names Francesco Totti as his idol and Fabio Grosso’s World Cup-winning penalty in 2006 as his favourite moment in sport.