January 11, 2021
2nd half of the season: all you need to know
OGC Nice kick off the second half of the 2020/21 season on Sunday, even if the first half hasn't quite finished with the Round 11 derby in Marseille still to be played. Bordeaux are the visitors to the Côte d'Azur this weekend ahead of four months of intense league action.
TAKE CHARGE AT HOME
Le Gym are struggling without their fans at the Allianz Riviera with just eight points from their nine home games so far, the 17th-best record in the division. There are 10 home games still to come this term, and the Aiglons will be looking for improvement.
The current top 5 have already been to visit — Lyon, Paris, Lille, Monaco et Rennes — but there are four teams in the top half of the table yet to head to the Mediterranean coast: Bordeaux (10th) on 17 January, Angers (7th) in February, Marseille (6th) in March, and Montpellier (8th) in April.
In the run-in, there are back-to-back home games against Brest and Strasbourg on 9 and 16 May, Rounds 36 and 37.
BIG AWAY DAYS
There are 10 trips to come, including the one to Marseille that has not yet been rescheduled.
After going to Lens on 23 January, there will be three big away days: Monaco (4th), PSG (2nd) and Rennes (5th) during a frantic February (six matches in total including a Round of 64 Coupe de France tie).
After visits to a trio of teams battling relegation (Lorient, Nantes and Dijon), the last two away games of the season are against big-hitters: Lille (3rd) on 2 May and 'autumn champions' Lyon on 23 May, the final day of the season.
60 POINTS IN PLAY
On 23 points right now, the Niçois will aim to collect as many of the 60 points still to play for with the first three coming against Les Girondins and former Nice men Paul Baysse and Hatem ben Arfa* on Sunday, kick-off 3pm CET.
*Sidelined for the first two games of the year (0-0 at Metz, 2-1 against Lorient), Ben Arfa "should start running again on Tuesday or Wednesday and undergo an examination to see if his injury has fully healed," said Bordeaux boss Jean-Louis Gasset.
What about the Coupe de France?
Knocked out by Lyon in the Last 16 last season, OGC Nice will be back in the Coupe de France in the second week of February. Between 9-11, they'll face fellow Ligue 1 side Nîmes, the team against whom they last won in the top flight (0-2, 16 December).
Due to the pandemic, the format of the competition has changed this season with two routes through to the Last 32: one for the Ligue 1 clubs (who join in the Round of 64) and the Ligue 2 sides (who join in the 8th preliminary round), and a second path for amateur clubs.
The dates for the subsequent rounds have not yet been scheduled.