It was surprising to see Montpellier so confident last round away at Lorient. Opponents started in force and were already 2-0 up after 20 minutes, but Montpellier didn’t give up, and found their way back in the game (finished 2-2).
Montpellier missed their best scorers, Ninga and Boudebouz, but once again managed to find the net. They are not applying constant pressure on opponents, they aren’t creating many scoring opportunities, but they are finding the net, even without their best scorers. Last round midfielder Sanson took over the responsibilities, and was the man of the match with a goal and an assist.
Hosts should welcome back midfielders Boudebouz, Deplagne, Lasne and Shkiri, and forward Mounie.
Marseille were unlucky not to take all points last round against Bordeaux (finished 0-0). They controlled the game, and they were the only ones who managed to create decent scoring opportunities.
Attacking players seem a bit precipitated, they are always in a rush, and that’s one of the reasons they have problems in finding the target. Marseille have a new coach now, Rudi Garcia, and there’s a big possibility we may see Marseille more offensive minded than usual, since Garcia embraced an offensive attitude at most of his past clubs.
The problem with Marseille is that they aren’t exactly very inventive in midfield, they don’t create too many tunnels, and when forwards get the ball there’s never enough space.
Guests may miss forward Gomis who suffered an injury last week.
There is no doubt Marseille are more valuable, but this is a transition phase because of the new coach, and Montpellier were pretty surprising so far, even when they had important absences.
UPDATE: Hosts will miss central defender Congre, while guests will be without forward Gomis
Montpellier : Pionnier, Ligali – Poaty, Saint-Ruf, Mongongu, Deplagne, Roussillon, Hilton, Vanden Borre – J.Marveaux, Lasne, Sanson, Boudebouz, Skhiri, Sessegnon – So.Camara, Mounié, Bérigaud
Marseille : Samba, Y.Pelé – Sakai, Doria, Rekik, Rolando, Bedimo, Fanni – Cabella, L.Diarra, Machach, Zambo Anguissa, M.Lopez – Alessandrini, Njie, B.Sarr, Thauvin, Rabillard