Balotelli stirs Nice hopes of fairytale finish

Courbis sees other problems looming for Nice.

Key midfielders Younes Belhanda and Jean-Michel Seri will be playing at the Africa Cup of Nations in January for Morocco and Ivory Coast respectively.

Courbis said that Balotelli has to put in more regular performances “which he has not been doing so far.”

The injury list, which includes Valentin Eysseric and Brazilian left-back Dalbert, is also growing. Even the 33-year-old Dante is scheduled to have tests on his knee.

Favre did throw aside his normal caution on Sunday to condemn the fixture pile-up which will have seen Nice play 10 matches in 31 days up to the start of the break on Thursday.

“I don’t know who organised it, but its too much. It’s unmanageable,” Favre said.

The players are still enjoying the heights however.

“The aim is to go as high as possible, not set ourselves any limit,” said goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale.

“There is still a lot to do. Autumn champions does not go on the list of trophies won.”

Courbis said it would be “exceptional” for Nice to finish the season in the top three, having ended fourth last year.

Other cautious observers recall how Nice were top of the table in December in the 1972-73 and 1975-76 seasons. Each time they finished second.

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