Montpellier used a defense in 5 last week for the first time this season. It was a strategy that paid off as they got an important point away at Lille (finished 0-0).
Montpellier successfully defended on 2 lines and everything that got past midfielders was stopped by the 3 central defenders. Montpellier won’t use this strategy for the entire season but there are good chances to see them in the same formula against Monaco this round.
There was also a change upfront where Berigaud started on the wing (usually plays as striker). This movement was not that inspired especially when Barrios was out injured and the sole choice for the striker position was mediocre Montano.
They won’t have the same problem now seeing that forward Barrios will return from injury and most probably will take back his place in the lineup. Hosts also welcome back midfielder Saihi after he missed last round.
Even if they won, Monaco were a bit disappointing against Guingamp last round (1-0). They could only score following a free-kick and rarely managed to approach the penalty box from open play. Lack of creative power remains Monaco’s biggest problem. This is the main reason for the discouraging start of the season.
Players have problems in understanding each-other and because of that the building phase seems sloppy.
The good news is that they managed to keep a clean sheet for 2 consecutive games for the first time this season. It seems they worked a bit on the defensive phase and successfully improved it.
Forward Martial suffered an injury last round and will miss this game.
This can easily be one of the most uneventful games of the round, with Montpellier using 5 defenders again and Monaco lacking creative power.
UPDATE: No surprises in the squads
Montpellier:Jourdren, Pionnier – Congré, Hilton, Tiéné, El Kaoutari, Jebbour, Saint-Ruf – J.Marveaux, J.Martin, Lasne, Sanson, Saihi – Mounier, Bérigaud, Ribelin, Montaño, S.Camara, Barrios
Monaco: Stekelenburg, Subasic – R.Carvalho, Ab.Diallo, Wallace, Fabinho, Kurzawa, Raggi – T.Bakayoko, Dirar, Ferreira Carrasco, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Ocampos, B.Silva, Toulalan – Berbatov, A.Kamara, Germain