Valenciennes finally won a game. A mixture of circumstances made it possible but also a big credit goes to coach Jacobs.
Jacobs found central midfielder Da Silva getting rusty on the bench and immediately recognized his abilities, making Da Silva an undisputed regular. He is a solid player, with great ball control, vision and stamina. At only 21 I see Da Silva as a potential gold mine for Valenciennes.
At last experienced forward Pujol is able to achieve full potential. After being in and out of injuries, Pujol was the man of the match last round after scoring twice and delivering an assist.
Valenciennes’ improvement can not be denied. The team looks better in all aspects. The defense is more solid mainly do to less pressure on it, midfielders hold the ball longer and forwards found their scoring appetite. I guess coach Jacobs’ experience paid off.
Hosts can use the same as last week since there are no new injuries or suspensions.
Montpellier’s last game (1-1 vs Nantes) was played after an expected scenario. Their limited offensive abilities made their constant and moderate pressure be in vain. Only that opponents Nantes exaggerated in withdrawing back and never really creating anything after they took the lead. Nantes were overconfident and thought they could reject all incoming threats without posing any offensive danger.
Central defender Hilton is still out injured. Joining him on the sidelines will be central midfielder Saihi. On the other hand, midfielder Martin will return from suspension and winger Mounier could return after injury.
Montpellier’s offense is diminishing potential as round goes by. They rely on the same players each game, Montano, Cabella and Camara, who don’t receive any support from the central midfielders. They must initiate actions, open up the defense and convert by themselves.
Like previously said Valenciennes look better defensively, they are more organized and lucid. Montpellier will find it very difficult to find any space to exploit.
If by any chance Valenciennes will manage to score through in-form players like Pujol or Silva, they won’t act as Nantes last round, but instead will continue to be dangerous.
This will be a very disputed game and in the end form can prove to be the decisive factor. And form is definitely on Valenciennes’ side. The odds of 1.88 for Valenciennes DNB are worthy of some low to medium stakes.