After winning in-front of Bordeaux two rounds ago Reims continued with another solid performance last week away at Nantes (finished 1-1). Reims found themselves 1-0 down early in the game but bounced back and dominated the rest of the encounter.
Coach Vasseur changed the team a bit and left Moukandjo on the bench. Moukandjo had some impressive performances ever-since arriving at Reims and his speed made the difference many times. Furthermore replacement Fortes was kind of invisible so most likely Moukandjo will be in the lineup this round.
The accuracy of passes is probably Reims’ major strength. But the thing is only a few of those passes create dangerous opportunities. Most of them are at teammates at the back or on the same line. Most balls pass through central midfielders Oniangue and Devaux who are decent players but aren’t exactly play-maker material.
Bad news for Reims who will miss fullback Mandi due to injury. On the other hand they may welcome back defenders Weber and Roberge and midfielder Bourillon who missed a couple of rounds.
Only by looking at the final result one may believe Montpellier played like a women team against Lyon last round (lost 5-1). There is no denying Lyon was the better side but in-spite conceding five goals Montpellier have a solid and lucid defense. Unfortunately, just like most Ligue1 clubs, they have moments of wandering, moments that can decide the fate of the game. Lyon scored two quick goals one after another, Montpellier couldn’t bounce back and two more goals followed in the final 10 minutes.
Montpellier’s major weakness remains the lack of offensive power. Forwards Barrios and Montano are both only mediocre players and Berigaud was converted to attacking midfielder and he failed to adapt.
At Montpellier all the burden of applying the finishing touch is upon the shoulders of midfielders and maybe this is why sometimes the defensive phase is neglected and they are surprised on counters.
At home and after two good performances Reims could push harder than usual. But in this moment neither side is convincing in the attacking phase and remains to be seen if anyone will succeed in scoring the goal that will make the difference.
UPDATE: Hosts defender Roberge is still out injured.
Reims: Agassa, Placide – Conte, Mandi, M.Fofana, Roberge, Tacalfred, Signorino – Ca, Devaux, Oniangué, Fortes, Diego – Charbonnier, Courtet, Moukandjo, De Préville, Ngog
Montpellier: Jourdren, Pionnier – Congré, Hilton, Tiéné, El Kaoutari, Deplagne, Jebbour – J.Marveaux, J.Martin, Lasne, Sanson, Saihi – Mounier, Bérigaud, Montaño, S.Camara, Deza