Nice go into their crunch Europa League clash with Schalke 04 without star striker Mario Balotelli after the Italian pulled a calf muscle in training, the French club said on Tuesday.

Nice are bottom of Group I on three points while Schalke have already qualified for the next round on 12 points. 

The Ligue 1 leaders can still finish second but will likely need two wins to do so.

Their chances will be somewhat diminished given that Liverpool misfit Balotelli has scored seven goals in nine games this season. – Agence France-Presse

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