Lokomotiv Moscow vs Nice Prediction, Preview, Lineups & Betting Tips
The Red-Greens are in pole position to progress regardless of Mario Balotelli’s early first-leg brace, however, Manuel Fernandes’ second Europa League hat-trick of the season has given Lokomotiv the advantage before second-leg in Moscow.
Russian Premier League leaders Lokomotiv Moscow are in prime position to reach the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League for the first time after coming from two goals down to defeat Nice 3-2 on the French Riviera. Anyway, we must mention that hosts were reduced to 10 men when Racine Coly received a straight red card in the second-half (when score was still 2-1 in their favour) which pretty much contributed to Lokomotiv’s impressive comeback.
One week later Lokomotiv have the home advantage and Yuri Semin’s men will be keen to benefit from the heavy Russian winter as well. The weather forecast for Thursday shows temperatures between -10 to -21 in the Russian capital so we can’t expect the best possible circumstances for the Frenchmen, who are used to a completely different weather.
Find out the possible starting lineups of Lokomotiv Moscow and Nice, as well as our betting prediction with the highest betting odds available on the picked market.
Europa League: Lokomotiv Moscow vs Nice Betting Tips and Prediction
Lokomotiv have only played two other matches against French opponents, winning at home turf (2-1) and losing away (0-1) at Monaco in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League 1/8 finals, being knocked out of the tournament due to the away goals rule.
Lokomotiv have won only three of their last 8 European fixtures in Moscow, losing the same number, but two of the victories were accomplished earlier this season – 3-0 vs Zlín (previous Manuel Fernandes hat-trick) and 2-1 vs FC Copenhagen (two goals of Jefferson Farfan) in their most recent home game. Those two (Fernandes and Farfan) will be under the spotlights for another game, being two of the most experienced players in current Lokomotiv selection.
Nice, on the other hand, will hope on another productive night for Italian striker Mario Balotelli and his French teammates Alassane Plea and Allan Saint-Maximin. “The Eaglets” fly to Moscow after another disappointing result last weekend when Nice failed to win at home and the 1-1 draw against Nantes was preceded by four consecutive defeats. Thus Nice holds 9th position in local Ligue 1 and their European campaign can be a season saver for the French side, but they need to achieve a significant victory in Moscow. If, for example, Nice wins 2-1 – they’ll be eliminated with the away goals rule so they must try scoring at least 2 goals in Russia, which will be enough only if they don’t concede at the same time.
We expect both teams to score in first match of Thursday’s UEFA Europa League schedule – “Both teams to score: Yes“. Both sides have decent attackers who can materialize the scoring chances.
Possible Lineups of Lokomotiv Moscow and Nice
Venue: “RZD Arena”, Moscow.
Referee: Pavel Kralovec from the Czech Republic.
Lokomotiv Moscow: Guilherme – Vitali Denisov, Nemanja Pejcinovic, Solomon Kvirkvelia, Vladislav Ignatjev – Jefferson Farfán, Igor Denisov, Manuel Fernandes, Anton Miranchuk – Aleksey Miranchuk – Ari. (4-4-1-1)
Missing players: Taras Mykhalyk is doubtful.
OGC Nice: Walter Benítez – Patrick Burner, Malang Sarr, Dante, Romain Perraud – Pierre Lees Melou, Jean Michaël Seri, Wylan Cyprien – Allan Saint-Maximin, Mario Balotelli, Alassane Plea. (4-3-3)
Missing players: Racine Coly is suspended, Christophe Jallet, Maxime Le Marchand and Arnaud Souquet are all injured.