Nov 26, 2020 at 8pm UK
Slavia PragueSlavia Prague
Gouiri (60')
Nsoki (43'), Atal (53'), Schneiderlin (74'), Bambu (77'), Boudaoui (90+1')
Boudaoui (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Lingr (14'), Olayinka (64'), Sima (75')
Zima (40'), Boril (55'), Kudela (90+1')

Preview: Nice vs. Slavia Prague - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Nice vs. Slavia Prague - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:423506: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Nice and Slavia Prague, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Nice will hope to make their long-awaited return to action this week with a Europa League showdown against Slavia Prague on Thursday in Group C.

The hosts lie third in the group with one win and two losses so far, whereas Slavia Prague sit atop the rankings having accrued six points from a possible nine.

Match preview

Nice were due to mark their return from the international break with a testing Ligue 1 showdown against Marseille at the weekend, but as has been the case with several Ligue 1 matches this term, an outbreak of coronavirus meant the game had to be postponed.

The Aiglons camp saw more than 10 first-team players return positive tests for COVID-19, but with Patrick Vieira's men pictured in training over the past couple of days, their showdown with Slavia Prague should go ahead as planned on matchday four.

Nice have endured mixed fortunes in the 2020-21 Europa League and have plenty of work to do to push for a knockout berth, and Vieira's side did not go into the international break in optimal fashion as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Monaco at the beginning of November.

However, Les Aiglons can take confidence from the fact that they could break into the top two with victory over Slavia Prague this week, but with Bayer Leverkusen expected to overcome Hapoel Be'er Sheva in the other game in Group C, Nice are certainly in need of a positive result before they play host to Leverkusen next month.

Meanwhile, Slavia Prague are a side in inspired form at the minute. Jindrich Trpisovsky has witnessed his side come out on top in their last four games in all competitions and the Czech giants currently lead the way in Group C heading into matchday four.

Slavia's domestic dominance was brought to a grinding halt before the international break due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the national champions have restarted their title defence in the perfect way with victories over Mlada Boleslav and Opava, scoring seven goals and shipping none.

Opava were hit for six by Trpisovsky's men at the weekend, with Jan Kuchta getting off the mark in the top flight with a brace in that routine victory, with five of Slavia's goals in that 6-0 win coming in the second 45.

Slavia's winning run also includes that impressive triumph over Leverkusen on their own turf, and the Czech champions ran out 3-2 winners in their first meeting with Nice earlier this month.

While Trpisovsky's side currently occupy first spot, Leverkusen are hot on their trail and only behind on head-to-head points, so Slavia have as much of an incentive to win as Nice do in what promises to be a hotly-contested battle this Thursday.

Nice Europa League form: LWL
Nice form (all competitions): LDWWLL

Slavia Prague Europa League form: LWW
Slavia Prague form (all competitions): WLWWWW

Team News

Nice did not disclose which players returned positive coronavirus tests, but Youcef Atal was a confirmed case a couple of weeks ago, so the right-back should be nearing a return to action.

Vieira's men will be depleted on the right-hand side if Atal is not cleared to make his comeback, with Jordan Lotomba also testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month, but the 22-year-old is back in training and should be fine for Thursday.

Les Aiglons are already without Dante and Hassane Kamara due to injuries, but Morgan Schneiderlin is available despite a domestic suspension.

Slavia have a number of injury concerns to contend with, meaning that David Zima and Ondrej Kudela - the latter of whom opened the scoring at the weekend - are set to pair up in defence with Ondrej Karafiat and David Hovorka both unavailable.

Kuchta followed up his brace against Nice with another double at the weekend and should lead the line again, but Jan Boril and Petar Musa are pushing for starts after coming off the bench to net against Opava.

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Pelmard, Bambu, Daniliuc; Lotomba, Schneiderlin, Lees Melou, Nsoki; Lopes, Dolberg, Gouiri

Slavia Prague possible starting lineup:
Kolar; Masopust, Zima, Kudela, Boril; Holes, Sevcik; Sima, Stanciu, Olayinka; Kuchta

We say: Nice 1-2 Slavia Prague

This is an extremely difficult game to call between two sides who ought to be going out all guns blazing for a vital win on Thursday. However, Nice have seen their preparations hampered by a cluster of coronavirus cases and it remains to be seen which players will take to the field against Slavia Prague, so we expect the in-form visitors to cement their position at the top of Group C with a slender victory.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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