Caen were extremely lucky to get away with a point last round (drew 1-1 at Monaco). The game was mostly one sided with Monaco imposing the rhythm and constantly pushing the game forward.
Defenders were hesitant and made a couple of big errors, most of them unforced. There won’t be any improvements in defense seeing that central defender Musavu-King will miss again through injury and defender Appiah is also highly doubtful.
Upfront Caen look decent as they are scoring goals. Forward Koita seem to have picked up some confidence. He scored an impressive goal last round, but until now his performances were a huge let down.
Caen suffer when it comes to coherently building up play. As proof for that is the fact that most pass combinations last round were between keeper Vercourtre and forward Koita…
This week Caen will once again change strategy and will switch from counter-attack based tactics to a more courageous and daring attitude as they often do when being favorites and on home ground.
This is exactly what opponents Montpellier want as they are always more than happy to give up initiative and kill the game somewhere in midfield. Last round for example Montpellier let Toulouse take charge and concentrated solely on striking on counters. Possession was heavily in favor of Toulouse but Montpellier had the most dangerous chances and ended up winning 2-0.
Coach Courbis seem to have solved Montpellier’s biggest problem, the offensive inefficiency. Last round Camara started upfront instead of Barrios. Camara was very active, took part in many fast paced actions and even managed to score.
In defense Montpellier once again looked solid with defensive midfielders and central defenders rejecting most incoming actions.
Caen should be admired as they play open and pleasant to the eye football. But that is exactly what Montpellier prefer and most likely guests will take advantage of this situation, especially now when their attacking problems are gone. Montpellier +0.25 at 1.91
UPDATE: Besides defenders Musavu King and Appiah hosts will also miss winger Bazile. Guests will miss keeper Jourdren. Same bet
Caen: Vercoutre, Perquis – Calvé, D.Da Silva, Imorou, Pierre, Al.Yahia, Raineau – Adéoti, Saez, N.Kanté, Féret – Lemar, Nangis, Raspentino, Duhamel, Koita, Privat
Montpellier: Pionnier, Ligali – Congré, Hilton, Tiéné, El Kaoutari, Deplagne – J.Marveaux, J.Martin, B.Dabo, Lasne, Sanson, Saihi – Mounier, Bérigaud, So.Camara, Mounié, Bakar, Ribelin