France Ligue 1 – Nice v Montpellier Preview (24/2/17)

Match preview

  • Nice posses the second best home record in the league and have fantastic 10-3-0 statistics. They’ve only conceded eight goals in front of their own fans.
  • Last week’s shock results for PSG & Monaco have somewhat gotten them back in the title race. Nice aren’t pretty, but keep grinding out results. A mammoth 10 of their 16 wins have been by exactly one goal.
  • The hosts will be lacking firepower though. They’ve lost pacey hitman Alassane Plea for the rest of the season due to injury, and fellow frontman Mario Balotelli is suspended tonight.
  • Montpellier are suddenly back in some form and have won 3 of their last 4 games, pushing Monaco hard in the fixture they lost. It seems they are capable of sucking any team into a shootout, even Nancy couldn't resist an open game a couple of weeks ago.
  • Maybe the same will happen again here, but Nice can really defend if required. We saw last week how they bunkered in well to hold on 1-0 at Lorient. They will be hard to penetrate if leading with 20 mins left.
  • I have a feeling this could be an open game of football on the eye, but maybe not necessarily contain buckets of goals. Nice have a knack of winning close games so I think they’ll just about prevail.
  • There is definite value on the hosts who are underestimated. Everyone is talking about how they can't score without their two key strikers. But the main strength they have is in defence and Montpellier will surely gift them a chance or two.
  • I’m not going to bet on the game though because Montpellier are playing quite well. I’d be interested in the overs but Nice can become really solid if required. Overall, I’m just not comfortable staking anything pre match.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None

Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player