Friday, 24 July 2015

FC Nantes will be a step up in class for Cherries

Last season FC Nantes finished 14th in Ligue 1 scoring 29 goals in their 38 games. It may not sound like a tremendous record until you look at some of the sides that finished above them. They play at the 38,000 capacity Stade de la Beaujoire-Louis Fonteneau which was inaugurated in 1984, while the club was established in 1943. FC Nantes have honours too having picked up the Ligue 1 title eight times and the French Cup three times. 

Their current crop of players  include Papy Djilobodji who is a centre back that was closely linked with a move to the Premier League over the summer with AFCB and Southampton reportedly interested. But last week it was said that the defender is departing the club - so where is he going? Issa Cissokho has certainly just moved to Genoa, but may be a name that sounds familiar as he is the brother of Aly Cissokho who plays for Aston Villa. 

Remaining at the club though is captain and left back Olivier Veigneau and winger Johan Audel who has played for Toulose and VfB Stuttgart in the past. Another of their star players is Jordan Veretout (a striker that AFCB have been linked with) who plays on the right behind the main striker and hits a mean penalty - he's just become a father. This summer FC Nantes signed Icelandic striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson but he has suffered a foot injury and is now unlikely to turnout for the French side in the friendly with the Cherries.

Nantes manager is Michel der Zakarian who is in his second managerial spell at the club. He also played 140 times for the club as a defender. FC Nantes have been playing a series of friendlies in Belgium with their most recent match against KRC Genk who recently played Charlton Athletic winning 1-0. They previously beat Saint-Etienne 2-0 on 16 July with Yacine Bammou, their Moroccan striker getting on the score sheet. Their other friendly was against FC Bourg-Peronnas which ended 1-1.

AFCB may look more like a full strength side for this match as the build up to 8 August gets ever closer. 

Well done to Baily Cargill on his new three-year contract at AFCB and also to the U21s who drew 0-0 away to the Saints. It was also good to hear that Brett Pitman has scored four goals in three Ipswich pre-season games.

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