Familiar faces at Basel

OGC Nice are back in Europe this Thursday, April 13, when they travel to Switzerland to face FC Basel in the first leg of their Conference League quarter-final. The match will allow the club to see some of their familiar faces again...


When the draw was made, many people in Nice thought of them first. Andy Pelmard and Dan Ndoye, two former members of the red and black team, have been in the Basel squad since the summer of 2021. The two men have established themselves as regulars in Switzerland, with the former already approaching the 100-match mark in the centre of the FCB defence. Pelmard has been extremely consistent and has missed just one of his team's 48 games this term.

Pelmard started out at the Gym and was given his first professional appearance by Patrick Vieira in 2018/2019. During his three seasons in the Aiglons shirt, in which he played 39 games, the central defender showed his adaptability, playing in all positions along the back line.

"For me, who was born in Nice, it will be special to play there. It's a real football city. And my family will be in the stadium," said the former Aiglon, who is still very attached to OGC Nice, when speaking to the FC Basel media on 17 March.

Ndoye, for his part, only played for Nice for one season, in 2020/2021. The right winger arrived from Lausanne and scored three goals, including two in the Europa League. A versatile and powerful striker who can play on the flanks as well as up front, the Nyon native arrived at the Gym from Lausanne. Since his return to his homeland, the 22-year-old forward has made 42 appearances this season, scoring five goals and providing four assists. A regularity that allowed Dan to get his first cap with the Swiss national team, in September 2022 against Spain.


At the Parc Saint-Jacques, Nice will be up against a former French league player in Jean-Kévin Augustin. Having started at Paris Saint-Germain, the powerful centre-forward enjoyed his best years in Germany with RB Leipzig, where he scored 20 goals in 67 appearances between 2017 and 2019, and played in the Champions League.

A European Under-19 champion with Kylian Mbappé's Bleuets in the summer of 2016, 'JKA' moved to northern Switzerland last year after two unsuccessful seasons at FC Nantes (no goals in two seasons). Injured at the beginning of the season, the French striker is gradually finding his feet in the Basel attack, and has scored a goal and an assist in his team's last two games in the Swiss Super League.


OGC Nice are also preparing to reunite with two former INEOS players, Zeki Amdouni and Andi Zeqiri, both of whom started out in the professional ranks with Lausanne Sport. The two young strikers, aged 22 and 23 respectively, are the Basel team's main attacking threat.

With five goals in ten games, Zeqiri is tied for second in the Conference League scoring charts. After making his professional debut with Lausanne, the centre-forward had mixed experiences with Brighton and Augsburg. Zeqiri is still with the English club, but he has made a good comeback with FC Basel. He has scored a total of 14 goals in 37 appearances this season.

Amdouni, a more versatile striker who can play on the left, has been with FCB since last summer. On loan from his parent club, the right-footed forward has adapted perfectly to the top flight. His club is also grateful to him for scoring a last-minute equaliser in the second leg of the Round of 16 match between Basel and Slovan Bratislava (2-2, 2-2 + 4-1 tab), which took the tie into extra time before winning it on penalties. The Swiss international, who has scored 12 goals this season, has already scored against the Aiglons in a friendly match won by Lausanne (0-3) in the summer of 2021.

Icon Sport | Graphisme Antoine Teisseire