Metz’s only real opportunity last round arrived late in the game when they hit the woodwork from about 30 meters (0-0 away at Nantes).
Besides that chance Metz couldn’t really threaten the opponent and their offensive phase was almost nonexistent. Since both their strikers were out (Falcon injured and Maiga at the Cup of Nations) coach Cartier was forced to improvise and converted young winger N’Gbakoto to the striker position. N’Ggbakoto is a talented player but feels more comfortable on the flank and couldn’t adapt in the lone striker role. As a result Metz were very predictable every time when trying to approach the penalty box.
There was decent organization in the defensive phase, but opponents’ reduced offensive potential also played a big role in keeping a clean sheet.
Most likely Metz will start with the same lineup since there are no news regarding injuries.
Huge victory for Montpellier last round in-front of Marseille (won 2-1). Midfielders Mounier, Lasne and Sanson made a great game and successfully took advantage of all the spaces left open by the opponent. In-fact Marseille simply invited Montpellier to attack as there were huge holes in all parts of the field. It was an offer Montpellier couldn’t refuse, especially with the good form of the mentioned midfielders.
But things will surely change this round as Metz never adventure upfront like crazy, especially now when their offensive strength is diminished. It will be hard for Montpellier to start from scratch and try to open up opponents without benefiting from already existing spaces.
Dull game ahead with both sides expecting the opponent to make a decisive mistake.
UPDATE: Hosts will welcome back forward Falcon. Montpellier’s keeper Jourdren is back in the squad and most likely will be a starter.
Metz: J.Carrasso, Oberhauser – Bussmann, Choplin, Métanire, Milan, Palomino, Rivierez – Krivets, Lejeune, Malouda, N’Daw, Ngbakoto, Philipps, B.Sarr – Falcon, Andrada, Nsor, Vion
Montpellier: Jourdren, Pionnier – Congré, Hilton, B.Dabo, El Kaoutari, Deplagne – J.Marveaux, J.Martin, Lasne, Sanson – Mounier, Bérigaud, Barrios, Sou.Camara, Ribelin