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Nice falls again with Champions League looming

Mario Balotelli

FILE- In this Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 file photo, Nice’s forward Mario Balotelli, of Italy, reacts during the Europa League group I soccer match between OGC Nice and FC Salzburg, in Nice stadium, southeastern France. Nice striker Mario Balotelli’s teammate Alassane Pleas has confirmed he heard Bastia supporters racially abusing Balotelli with monkey chants during the league match on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Claude Paris, File)


Nice is not having the start to this season that they celebrated a year ago.

Last season, Nice suffered its second loss of the campaign on Feburary 4th, with the team placed second in the Ligue 1 table. On Friday, Nice suffered its second loss in two matches to open the new season as they fell 2-1 at home to newly-promoted Troyes, conceding an 85th minute winner to Tunisian youngster Saif-Eddine Khaoui.

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Nice was without Mario Balotelli yet again as the Italian recovers from a hamstring injury, and without him they have not scored a goal from open play through two games this season. Nice was shut out in their opener against St. Etienne, and their goal against Troyes was a 63rd minute penalty scored by Alassane Plea.

Manager Lucien Favre proclaimed after the match “I’m not worried” and said, “It was a match that we could have won. This is not a surprise for me, as I remember what we showed last year. There are many things to put together. That is going to take time.”

New signing Wesley Sneijder was on hand to watch the match, but was not included in the home squad.

With these two losses in tow, Nice will now travel to face a strong Serie A side in Napoli on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League playoff matchup.

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