Lech Poznan, West Ham, AZ Alkmaar… The worst and best options for Nice in the quarterfinals

Qualified for the C4 quarter-finals, OGC Nice will discover the identity of their next opponent on Friday after the draw.

Next. Dominating Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol twice (1-0, 3-1), OGC Nice secured a place in the Europa League conference quarter-finals. The bottom French team in the European Cup this season will meet their future opponents on Friday 17 March during the draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon (Switzerland). Franceinfo: sport takes stock of the various possible oppositions.

The most convenient – Lech Poznan

In the middle of winter, a trip to Poland is no picnic. But that’s another story in April. On Aiglons’ side, the prospect of a two-legged tie against Lech Poznan for a place in the Europa League conference semi-finals would no doubt be welcomed. Of the remaining teams, the current third in the Polish league – 18 points behind the leaders – are the most convenient opponent.

Eliminated in the first qualifying round of the Champions League, Poznan progressed to groups C4 in the autumn. Runners-up behind Villarreal, the Poles then struggled to defeat Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt in the play-offs (0-0, 1-0), before getting rid of Djurgardens in the eighth round (2-0, 3-0). If the score may seem heavy, it should be put into perspective: the Swedes have just restarted and conceded three goals outnumbered. Lech Poznan have never gone so far in the European Cup and the challenge does not seem insurmountable for Nice.

Biggest piece: West Ham

10 wins in 10 games. Despite a worrying situation in the Premier League (17th with two points ahead of the Red Lantern), West Ham are churning out the Europa League conference this season. The club also has a solid record of 25 goals scored and six conceded. Something to get the competition excited before the draw. In competition, the Hammers’ latest arrival on French soil remains a bad memory because last year they sunk Lyon at home (3-0), in the same phase of the competition, but in C3.

A meeting that had allowed the Londoners to access the semi-finals of the Europa League. A beautiful European course that they have capitalized on ever since. Nice, however, would not dive into the unknown against them as David Moyes has many well-known bosses from the French league in his squad. In addition to the 2018 world champion Alphonse Aréola, the club includes French defender Kurt Zouma, German Thilo Kehrer, ex-Rennais Nayef Aguerd or ex-Lyon Lucas Paqueta, Emerson and Maxwel Cornet.

The double-edged game: AZ Alkmaar

With Nice representing the only quarter-finalists in the European Cup, France see their fifth place in the UEFA table under threat from the Netherlands. In the event of a Dutch epic (from Alkmaar or Feyenoord in C3), Ligue 1 could lose a qualifying place in the Champions League when four places are awarded to the 5th best European country of the 2024-2025 edition (the directly qualified podium, the fourth in the qualifying round with the new formula).

Which is why a double opposition against Alkmaar would be double-edged, dangerous also given the state of form of the Dutch. In the fight for the Eredivisie title, AZ created a surprise by eliminating Lazio Roma in the previous round (2-1, 2-1). A good elimination against Kaaskoppen, or ‘cheese heads’ in VF, could be costly, even more so if combined with a qualification from Feyenoord Rotterdam in C3.

The other possible draws: Fiorentina (Italy), Basel (Switzerland), La Gantoise and Anderlecht (Belgium).

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