Monaco took everyone by surprise in the midweek Cup game against Rennes when they managed to score twice in the first 10 minutes (won 3-1).
The overall performance was far from impressive and in-fact it was similar to those in the last two weeks when Monaco failed to score and relied mostly on set pieces for trying to find the net.
Striker Berbatov and fullback Kurzawa should return to the lineup after watching the Cup game from the bench.
Unfortunately for them, defenders Raggi and Carvalho and midfielders Bakayoko and Moutinho are still out injured.
Looking at their position in the table it seems that Monaco are punching a bit above their weight and if things won’t improve most likely the final rounds will catch them further away from the top 3 places.
Montpellier made a poor game last week against Lille (Lille won 2-1). After a great start of 2015 Montpellier suddenly dropped form and now they are once again struggling to push the game forward and convert chances.
Talented midfielder Martin suffered an injury 2 rounds ago and the attacking strength diminished considerably. He was the perfect link between compartments and now replacement Berigaud has a more offensive profile and it seems Montpellier are trying to cheat and skip the building phase.
Since midfielders don’t keep the ball like they used to and don’t create so many dangerous opportunities, opponents often win possession and have the chance to speculate on counters.
Difficult encounter with neither side in good moment and focused mostly on preventing opponents from creating coherent actions and killing the game.
UPDATE: Young Brazilian forward Matheus is in Monaco’s squad for the first time.
Monaco: Stekelenburg, Subasic – Abdennour, Echiejile, Fabinho, Kurzawa, Al.Touré, Wallace – Dirar, Ferreira Carrasco, Kondogbia, Ber.Silva, Thiam, Toulalan, Al.Traoré – Berbatov, Germain, A.Martial, Matheus
Montpellier (probable lineup): Jourdren – Dabo ou Deplagne – Hilton © – El Kaoutari – Congré – Lasne ou Saihi – Marveaux – Sanson – Mounier – Bérigaud – Barrios