Juventus vs Nantes – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 16th February 2023
As part of our Europa League predictions, we examine Nantes’ visit to Juventus Stadium. Juventus have been relatively poor in Serie A, but Nantes lie in 13th place in Ligue 1. Comfortable home win? Read on with our Juventus vs Nantes prediction.
Juventus (Champions League)
Juventus vs Nantes Match Preview
Juventus enter this tie having transferred from the Champions League group stage. The Old Lady were very poor in Group H, as Benfica and PSG dominated the section. Indeed, Juventus lost all four games against the Portuguese and French outfits. Embarrassingly, they contrived to lose 2-0 in Israel to Maccabi Haifa. Only a victory at home to the Israelis on matchday three ultimately clinched the Italians’ place in the Europa League. With three points and a goal difference of minus 4, Juventus were very disappointing.
Domestically, it has been a disaster for Juventus. They were already struggling to keep pace with an incredible Napoli side. However, they then suffered a 15-point deduction due to financial breaches. They have picked up seven points since this decision, including winning their last two – 3-0 away against Salernitana and 1-0 at home to Fiorentina. However, the deduction has derailed their season, as they sit in ninth place with 29 points. Perhaps the Europa League can provide some respite from Serie A proceedings.
Nantes qualified for this tie by finishing second to German club Freiburg in Group G. The French club’s form was bipolar, winning three and losing three of their six games. They lost both games to Freiburg but crucially defeated Olympiacos twice and Qarabag once. The last matchday was nervous for them, as they trailed Qarabag by a point. However, the win in Greece and the Azerbaijani club’s failure to win at home to Freiburg sealed Nantes’ place.
Nantes’ league form has been poor all season. They have won three of their last six, though two came in their previous two games – 2-0 against Ajaccio and 1-0 over Lorient. They also beat Angers on penalties in the French Cup to set up a quarter-final with Lens. Nantes sit in 13th place in the Ligue 1 table, having won only six games all season. They are likely safe from relegation. However, their chances for European qualification via the league are slim. They enter the Juventus tie as heavy underdogs despite Juve’s problems.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Milik, Miretti, Cuadrado, Pogba
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Ganago, Merlin
Juventus vs Nantes Lineups (Predicted)
Juventus (3-4-1-2/3-4-3): Szczesny; Sandro, Bremer, Danilo; Kostic, Rabiot, Locatelli, De Sciglio; Di Maria, Chiesa; Vlahovic
Nantes (4-2-3-1): Lafont; Traore, Castelletto, Girotto, Centonze; Chirivella, Moutoussamy; Simon, Mollet, Blas; Delort
Juventus are missing some players, such as Pogba and Milik, and their style of football can be sterile sometimes. However, they have come into some form over recent matches. The onus is on them to control the game and attack Nantes. Rabiot and Locatelli are classy midfielders. If they start, we see them gaining the lion’s share of possession for Juventus. Juve also have a strong back three, with Bremer a particular standout. Szczesny has been good in goal for them all season, also.
Where Juventus are strongest might be in the wide areas. Cuadrado is likely out, but Kostic and De Sciglio are both attacking wing-backs, especially the Serbian. Kostic will look to get up and down the pitch and deliver crosses for his big and powerful national team mate Vlahovic in the middle. Juve also have much dribbling, creativity, and goal threat, with Chiesa and the veteran Di Maria operating as attacking midfielders.
Nantes’ best hope of a result in this game is to play in a low block and break with the trickery of Simon, Mollet, and Blas. The defensive midfielders must be diligent and cover spaces which Juventus look to operate in both in midfield and on the flanks. There is much responsibility for them and the back four to make tackles and blocks to keep Juventus out. Castelletto at centre-back must perform heroically as Nantes are not big scorers and unlikely to score more than once – if that.
Nantes would be ecstatic if they could take a draw to France for the return leg next week. However, this is likely a relatively comfortable win for Juventus. Football is an unpredictable game and no team can be understimated. However, Juventus have superior players all over the pitch. As one of European football’s biggest clubs playing at home, they should have too much for the French club.
Juventus 2-0 Nantes
Juventus vs Nantes Betting Tip – Juventus -1 (Win by 2 Goals or More) Odds:
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