Montpellier made a good game last round away at Lyon. Opponents dominated, but Montpellier defended with confidence for 90 minutes (finished 0-0).
Coach Der Zakarian changed system and started in the 5-3-2 formula in the attempt to increase the defensive strength. The experiment paid off and Montpellier managed to keep a clean sheet.
Most probably this round Montpellier will switch back to their usual 3-4-3 system, and only focus on the defense if the circumstances impose it (like a red card or fragile lead).
Lille couldn’t build on the victory over St Etienne last round (won 3-1) and got defeated away at Amiens early this week (lost 3-0).
Lille were extremely vulnerable on counters and far from efficient in the attacking phase. Lille don’t change strategy, no matter if they play at home or away, and adventure upfront regardless the opponent.
Attacking players are skilled, but their performances are usually disappointing and so far they have failed to achieve full potential.
Coach Bielsa was suspended by the club after he made an unauthorized visit to Argentina. Results are of course the real reason, but there was no other way to part ways with Bielsa, since he was offered 7 million euro to leave about a month ago, bu he refused and asked for more.
Hosts welcome back key defender Congre and midfielder Shkiri, while Lille will miss midfieldernMendes.
I see Lille controlling this game and adventuring upfront from the first minutes. But Montpellier are very experienced (drew against PSG and Monaco) and can definitely stand ground and strike on counters. Montpellier -0.5 at 1.99
Montpellier: Pionnier, Lecomte – Aguilar, Congré, Hilton, P.Mendes, Mukiele, Roussillon, Cozza – Sambia, Lasne, Skhiri, Piriz, Sessegnon – Sio, Mbenza, S.Camara, Ninga
Lille: Maignan, Koffi – Malcuit, Alonso, Soumaoro, Ié, Ballo-Touré, Dabila – Amadou, Thiago Maia, Bissouma, Benzia, Bahlouli, Soumaré – Ponce, Pépé, Araujo, Faraj, El Ghazi