Nantes vs Juventus – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 23rd February 2023
Stade de la Beaujoire
As part of our Europa League predictions, we examine Juventus’ trip to the Stade de la Beaujoire. Following a shock 1-1 draw in Turin, can the French side progress to the knockout stage? Read on with our Nantes vs Juventus prediction.
Juventus (CL and EL)
Nantes vs Juventus Match Preview
Nantes came through group G (also comprising Freiburg, Qarabag, and Olympiacos) in second place, thanks to two late goals in Greece in the final game. Domestically, Nantes are in mixed form, having accrued 11 points from their previous seven games. Their form has improved since the World Cup, as they lost six of their 15 league games before the Qatar tournament’s commencement. They have only lost twice in the league since then, though one was 3-1 away at Lens at the weekend, so they come into this game with no momentum. Sitting in 13th, they are nine points above the relegation zone, so they are not entirely safe yet in this disappointing season.
Juventus finished third in Group H of the Champions League, which Benfica and PSG dominated. Indeed, the Italians only picked up three points – a win at home to Maccabi Haifa before losing the reverse – so it was a bitterly disappointing campaign. Domestically, Juventus were struggling to keep pace with Napoli. Things got worse as the Old Lady were deducted 15 points for financial breaches. Now sitting in 7th, twelve points from fourth, winning the Europa League may be their only avenue into next season’s Champions League. They have won three in a row in Serie A, keeping three clean sheets, and have the Turin derby after this game.
Juventus will be disappointed with the 1-1 stalemate last week in Turin. On the hour mark, Blas’ third goal in four games equalised an early Vlahovic goal. Nantes also escaped a last-minute VAR check for a penalty. As might be expected, Juventus dominated most of the game, having 57 per cent possession, six shots on target to one, and expected goals of 1.47 to 0.61. However, Nantes did show more spirit and attacking intent in the second half after being pinned back in the first. Still, Juventus should have won the game and will travel to France determined to win in 90 minutes and qualify for the round of 16.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Ganago
Will Not Play: Merlin
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Milik, Miretti, Pogba, Jorge
Nantes vs Juventus Lineups (Predicted)
Nantes (3-5-1-1): Lafont; Pallois, Castelletto, Girotto; Coco, Moutoussamy, Chirivella, Sissoko, Centonze; Blas; Mohamed
Juventus (3-4-2-1): Szczesny; Sandro, Bremer, Danilo; Kostic, Rabiot, Locatelli, Cuadrado; Chiesa, Di Maria; Vlahovic
Nantes did terrifically last week in the Juventus Stadium. Few people, including us, gave them a chance. Indeed, we predicted a comfortable 2-0 home victory. However, Nantes have given themselves a shot in this second leg. We expect Juventus to control the game again and come out with an attacking purpose in the early exchanges. The Italians will likely revert to three at the back. We see Cuadrado and Kostic returning at wing-back after they started last week’s encounter on the bench. If they come in, they will attempt to get forward and supply Vlahovic with crosses.
Meanwhile, whichever midfielders play (Rabiot, Locatelli, Fagioli, Paredes) will seek to control the game and find passes into the attacking midfielders – likely Chiesa and Di Maria. If these two can find spaces between the lines, they can create a world of trouble, so Nantes must beware and fill these gaps.
Nantes have only scored seven in their last six league games, so they are not prolific. Their best chance to score is from counter-attacks and transitional situations. We see them playing three at the back and in midfield. The wing-backs Coco and Centonze must be very disciplined but get forward when possible to support Blas in the attacking midfield position. Blas is a tricky and creative player, and he and the wing-backs will look to create chances for Mohamed up front. The Egyptian has struggled for goals this season, with only eight strikes in 35 appearances. He must try to beat the impressive Szczesny in the Juventus goal if presented with any opportunities.
Last week’s game proved our ongoing claim that football is a high-variance game, as Juventus should have this tie done and dusted. However, football doesn’t work that way. Juventus have much the superior team and players, but Nantes will try to grind out progression here. They may play for a 1-0 win or even for penalties. We don’t see them keeping Juventus out for a second time. We were going to predict 1-0 to the away side, but we will go for a relatively comfortable 2-0 win to Juventus.
Nantes 0-2 Juventus
Nantes vs Juventus Betting Tip – Juventus Odds:
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