Biggest surprise of the season so far last round when Montpellier won away at Marseille 2-0.
Although Montpellier’s midfield is far from impressive in terms of creativity and pitch coverage, against Marseille play-maker Sanson looked like the sole human on a deserted island as opponents were nowhere to be seen. It is no wonder Montpellier managed to win when Marseille’s midfield was full of holes.
But against Metz things will drastically change. First of all now Montpellier are favorites and they won’t afford to sit back and wait like they did against Marseille. And secondly Metz concentrate many players in midfield in the attempt to disrupt opponents’ actions in incipient stages.
Somehow I get the felling Metz will record most Ligue1 draws at the end of the season. Their system is made for drawing games.
Powerful striker Falcon is alone upfront but still succeeds in creating problems for opponents, like it happened against Nantes when he won a penalty.
Besides Falcon and the static defense, all the other players are concentrated in midfield and run their lungs out in each and every game.
This is why it appears Metz have more players on the field than opponents. It happened against Lille in the first round and it also happened against Nantes last week. Once a midfielder is outplayed another one quickly takes his place.
Winger Marveaux could make his debut for Montpellier after being injured in the first two rounds.
The party is over for Sanson and company, they won’t find anymore holes in opponents’ midfield like it happened against Marseille. Montpellier will keep possession and struggle to open up a compact side that is built for these kind of games. Metz +0.5 at 2.08
UPDATE: Hosts’ midfielder Stambouli will miss due to injury. Metz will be without injured midfielder Rocchi.
Montpellier: Jourdren, Ligali – Congré, Hilton, Tiéné, El Kaoutari, Deplagne – J.Martin, Lasne, Sanson, Saihi, Skhiri – Mounier, Bérigaud, Barrios, Montaño, So.Camara, Ribelin
Metz: J.Carrasso, M’Fa – Bussmann, Choplin, Marchal, Métanire, Milan, Palomino – Ch.Doukouré, N’Daw, Ngbakoto, Philipps, B.Sarr, Sido, Lejeune – Falcon, M.Gueye, Andrada