Ben Arfa back in contention for Nice

OGC Nice manager Claude Puel reveals star player Hatem Ben Arfa has returned to full training and could make his return against Troyes on Saturday.

Nice have been performing above expectations this season and find themselves in fifth position in the Ligue 1 table, but their performances have dipped noticeably since Ben Arfa injured his hamstring in their 1-0 loss to Monaco at the start of February.

The Eaglets have failed to win the three games since, drawing two 0-0 before being beaten 2-0 by Bastia last time out.

Ben Arfa’s return is a timely one for Le Gym who will look to get back to winning ways when they welcome Troyes to Allianz Riviera on Saturday and resume their push for a place in the top three and a spot in next season’s Champions League.

“He is a great player,” Puel told the official Ligue 1 website. “He was happy to be back in training this week. It did him good to touch the ball.

He would not reveal if Ben Arfa would be thrown straight back into the first XI for the match, but Vincent Koziello’s suspension significantly increases the likelihood of him starting.

“Yes, he will be in the group [for the match],” said the 54-year-old. “I will not say whether he will start but if he is in the squad then he is entitled to play. Paris Saint-Germain are not the same team without Zlatan Ibrahimovic.”

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