Montpellier were doing pretty good in home games just before the international break (won last 3 games). Last round they were a bit lucky to find the winner in the final minute, but all the credit goes to them for believing in their chance and constantly pushing forward (won 2-1 vs Nantes).
Montpellier were very hesitant in the first rounds and struggled to keep up with opponents. They hadn’t played any friendlies this summer (weird coach) and they could barely breath after 30 minutes into a Ligue1 game. Slowly they found a rythm and thanks to the increased confidence in home games they started winning points.
The biggest problem seems to be the lack of creativity in the attacking phase. They constantly use 4 offensive minded players but there is no fast paced rythm and most of their actions are predictable.
If Montpellier improved with each round Reims are exactly at the opposite end. They started the season in force but are in a constant decline ever since.
Before the international break Reims were sitting on 5 consecutive Ligue1 defeats with 8 goals conceded and only 1 scored. Along with last placed Troyes, Reims were the most out-of-form side in the tournament.
Important defender Mandi got injured a few rounds ago and all hell broke loose afterwards. Defenders suddenly lost confidence and this affected the entire team.
Mandi recently returned from injury but as we could see last round (lost 2-1 to Gazelec Ajaccio) there is no improvement until now.
Reims may once again miss central midfielder Oniangue who is doubtful.
Hosts have the upper hand here, but they can’t be fully trusted yet, and to be honest the prices aren’t very appealing.
UPDATE: Good news for Montpellier as they welcome back midfielder Sanson after injury. Reims will once again miss midfielder Oniangue who will be joined on the sidelines by attacking midfielder Bulot.
Montpellier: Pionnier, Ligali – M.Ndaye, Congré, Hilton, Bensebaini, W.Remy, Roussillon, Deplagne – Martin, Boudebouz, Skhiri, B.Dabo, Sanson – M.Yatabaré, S.Camara, Bakar, C.Ninga
Reims: K.Agassa, J.Boizart – M.Fofana, A.Mandi, Signorino, acalfred, H.Traoré, Weber – Devaux, O.Fortes, Kankava, O.Mfulu, Peuget, Rigonato, H.Rodriguez – De Preville, D.Ngog, Siebatcheu