Nice confirm Ben Arfa absence

Nice manager Claude Puel has been dealt a blow with the confirmation that Hatem Ben Arfa will be sidelined for up to five weeks with a hamstring injury.

The France international was forced off with the problem in the closing stages of his side's 1-0 defeat to Monaco in the French Riviera derby on Saturday.

Les Aiglons ended the weekend in third place, although they are now tied on 39 points with St Etienne, who beat Bordeaux 4-1 on Sunday.

The battle for Champions League football is on, but Puel must do without one of his star players for the next month after scans revealed that Ben Arfa had suffered a muscular injury.

A statement from the Ligue 1 club read: "The France international suffered a muscle injury this past weekend during the second half of the Monaco derby.

"He left the Stade Louis II in the 81st minute and medical exams at the beginning of this week have revealed an injury to the hamstring of his right leg. He is expected to miss between four and five weeks."

The 28-year-old winger has impressed on his first season back in France, scoring 11 goals in 24 league starts to aid Nice's push for European football.