Even if they were 1-0 down at half time PSG had an easy Cup game in the midweek away at Ajaccio (won 3-1). They afforded the luxury of resting a couple of important players like Ibrahimovic, Maxwell, Motta, Silva and Verratti (suspended).
All of them will return for this game and PSG should use the best lineup possible for the final game of 2014 on home ground. This is also PSG’s final chance to top the table with half the season gone (currently Marseille sit on the 1st position).
PSG disappointed a bit last round away at Guingamp (lost 1-0). They clearly dominated the entire game but everything was against them, from luck to a hostile referee. As round goes by there are more Ligue1 analysts believing that officials from the French football association make everything in their power to prevent PSG from taking a huge lead at the top of the table. A balanced competition (like we have now with Marseille 1st and PSG 2nd separated by only 1 point) means more interest and eventually more funds. The point is we may continue to see refereeing decisions against PSG in the future in order to keep a balanced competition. There could be nagging fouls in the middle of the field that could go unsanctioned, or even clear penalties denied (like it happened last week)
Montpellier got surprised by Lens’ vitality last round and blew a two goal lead. After only 15 minutes Montpellier were 2-0 up and considered themselves winners. This superficial attitude got punished immediately and in the end Montpellier took only 1 point (finished 3-3). Against PSG the superficial attitude will certainly be replaced by determination and they may be unrecognizable.
Midfielders Mounier and Sanson coordinated many actions and were by far Montpellier’s best players. Their good form and confidence could be of tremendous help against PSG who seemed vulnerable on counters.
There is no doubt that hosts have more resources, but tiredness and overconfidence (and even the referee) could prevent PSG from getting a comfortable victory. Montpellier +1.5 at 2.03
UPDATE: Hosts will miss offensive midfielder Pastore due to injury. Montpellier will miss keeper Jourdren.
PSG: Sirigu, Douchez – Aurier, Maxwell, David Luiz, Digne, Marquinhos, Van der Wiel, Thiago Silva – Verratti, Thiago Motta, Rabiot, Matuidi, Lucas, Chantôme, Cabaye – Ibrahimovic, Bahebeck, Cavani, Lavezzi
Montpellier: Pionnier, Ligali – Congré, Hilton, Gissi, El Kaoutari, Deplagne – J.Marveaux, J.Martin, B.Dabo, Lasne, Sanson, Saihi – Mounier, Bérigaud, Barrios, S.Camara, Bakar