In comparison to last season Montpellier will be without a couple of players that were never really of much use: forward Barios, winger Ait Fana and fullbacks Tiene and Jebbour. The only one who will truly be missed is central defender El Kaoutari who transferred in Serie A to Palermo.
Although they will play against a newly promoted side, this game will be extremely difficult for Montpellier. First of all they will have to learn how to play without El Kaoutari, but the problem is the other central defender (captain Hilton) will miss as well through suspension.
Another problem is that Montpellier played only 2 friendlies this summer (one against an amateur team) only because coach Coourbis says he hates friendlies. So besides the defensive problems hosts may also lack fitness.
Montpellier transferred-in attacking midfielder Boudebouz who should get along perfectly with winger Mounier and the actions created by these two will be the source of the majority of opportunities. But Boudebouz needs time to adapt and only after that he can became a real play-maker.
Angers was one of the most active French clubs on the transfer market. The offensive department got some great additions that will definitely help Angers this season. Winger Sunu (Evian), forward Ketkeo (Tours) and attacking midfielder N’Doye (Creteil) are all powerful players with impressive skills and should became key elements at Angers.
Most probably we should see Angers playing in a 4-3-3 formula with accent on the defensive phase in the first rounds but after a couple of weeks they will start to open up and try to make the best of the qualities of their offensive players.
Angers also tried to strengthen the defensive phase by bringing in a couple of players but only Traore (ex Brest) and Andreu (ex Ajaccio) should be in the lineup.
Montpellier will be the ones trying to impose the rythm but because of the defensive problems and the lack of fitness they could easily fall victims to Angers’ offensive players. Angers +0.5 at 2.11
UPDATE: Hosts will miss important midfielder Sanson due to injury. Angers will have to do without defenders Mohsni and Bouka Moutou.
Montpellier: Jourdren, Ligali – M.Ndiaye, Congré, B.Dabo, Bensebaini, W.Rémy, Deplagne – J.Marveaux, J.Martin, Boudebouz, Lasne, Saihi – Mounier, S.Camara, Bérigaud, Mounié, Bakar, Cornette
Angers: Butelle, Letellier – Andreu, Angoula, R.Thomas, Is.Traoré – Auriac, R.Camara, Capelle, Diers, Manceau, Mangani, C.Ndoye, Saïss – Doré, Ketkéophomphone, S.Sissoko, Sunu