Montpellier made a good game away at Nantes last round and the 1-0 loss may be a bit unfair.
They are solid in the defensive phase and confident in midfield. The only problem is when trying to apply the finishing touch as newly arrived forward Barrios is yet to adapt and demonstrate what he is capable of.
After Cabella left Sanson became the undisputed leader and his confidence simply skyrocketed. Besides being efficient his playing style is also pleasant to the eye. His back-heel passes and tunnels can demoralize most opponents.
If things will improve in the finishing phase Montpellier can became a fierce opponent for most clubs in Ligue1. Maybe coach Courbis should give more credit to newly arrived forward Berigaud and replace Barrios who was given many chances but failed to make an impact.
Lorient outplayed Guingamp last round but the 4-0 score is a bit misleading. Last 3 goals were scored in the final 10 minutes when Guingamp simply gave up and players were already on their way to the locker room.
Lorient are continuously trying to adapt since the season started. Each round a key player transferred-out. Central defender Ecuele Manga was the last one to leave this week. His absence will surely be felt as he was a wall by himself.
Lorient have a somewhat young squad with chemistry at low levels after many important players left. They are still in the process of creating playing relations and this can be seen with a naked eye as their game is rough around the edges, which makes it especially difficult to open up opponents.
Guests should welcome back winger Barthelme and defender Lautoa after injury.
This game should be played mostly in midfield but if there’s one team capable of adding pressure and destabilizing opponents’ defense that’s Montpellier through the creativity of Sanson and fellow midfielders. Montpellier -0.5 at 2.12
UPDATE: After being left outside the squad for a couple of weeks Jebbour is now back for Montpellier. Lorient will once again be without Barthelme who is still out injured.
Montpellier: ourdren, Pionnier – Congré, Hilton, Tiéné, El Kaoutari, Deplagne, Jebbour – J.Marveaux, J.Martin, Lasne, Sanson, Saihi – Mounier, Bérigaud, Barrios, Montaño, S.Camara
Lorient: Lecomte, Chaigneau – Le Goff, Guerreiro, L.Koné, Lautoa, Bellugou, Pedrinho, Gassama – Mostefa, Coutadeur, Abdullah, B.Pelé, Sunu, Lavigne – Diallo, Jeannot, A.Ayew