Two Ligue 1 teams battling for Champions League qualification will lock horns on Saturday afternoon when fourth-placed Strasbourg play host to third-placed Nice.
The hosts have won their last two meetings against Nice; however, the visitors won 2-0 at the Stade de la Meinau last season.
Strasbourg were unable to claim a third successive league victory last weekend as they played out a 2-2 draw away at Saint-Etienne.
All four goals were scored within the first 34 minutes, with Wahbi Khazri equalising for the hosts just four minutes after Lucas Perrin had put the visitors 2-1 in front.
Julien Stephan’s men remain in fourth place but the gap to Saturday’s opponents Nice has now increased to three points following their win against Angers.
Considering that Strasbourg were promoted to the top flight in 2017 and have since finished no higher than 10th place, Stephan and co will be delighted with their season so far and they remain in a strong position to qualify for Europe.
Since the start of December, the Racers have won seven of their 10 Ligue 1 matches and have accumulated 22 points, more than any other team in the division. They have also won seven of their last 10 games on home soil, scoring at least three times on six of these occasions.
Strasbourg have won their last two meetings against Nice, including a comfortable 3-0 success in December, and securing another three points on Saturday would boost their chances of qualifying for the Champions League for the very first time.
Nice’s Justin Kluivert celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 20, 2022© Reuters
Nice bounced back from successive league defeats against Clermont and Lyon with a slender 1-0 win at home against Angers last weekend.
Justin Kluivert netted the only goal of the game when his left-footed strike trickled under the goalkeeper in the 19th minute, helping the Riviera outfit secure their 14th league win of the campaign.
As well as moving two points further ahead of Strasbourg, Christophe Galtier’s side were able to capitalise on Marseille’s surprise 2-0 loss against Clermont and have moved to within one point of the Olympians in second place.
Nice head to the Stade de la Meinau with the joint-second best away record in Ligue 1, accumulating 25 points from their 12 matches and conceding only seven times, the fewest in the division.
The Eaglets may have one eye on their Coupe des France semi-final against Versailles next Tuesday, but they will be keen to claim maximum points against top-three rivals Strasbourg on Saturday and consolidate their Champions League qualification spot.