France Ligue 1 – Montpellier v PSG Preview (3/12/16)

Montpellier preview

  • Defeat away at Toulouse on Wednesday night was their first in four games. Montpellier haven’t generally been in bad form recently but a lack of actual victories have hindered them all season.
  • They’ve now failed to score in either of their last two games, an unusual occurrence this season. Montpellier have been good going forwards under Frederic Hantz, but perhaps injuries and suspensions are starting to catch up with them.
  • Full Back Anthony Vanden Borre and Jerome Roussillon are on the treatment table. In midfield Yacouba Sylla is still sidelines and William Remy not in the best physical state. Attacker Stephane Sessegnon is suspended, and whilst striker Souleymane Camara returns, I’m not convinced he’ll be fit enough to start.
  • Basically, Montpellier look a bit battered and bruised, hardly ideal just before PSG come to town. However, at least they’ve only lost one home game so far and played quite well at Le Stade Mosson.

PSG preview

  • It’s now five wins in a row for PSG and they are up to second in the table. Four of those victories have been to nil. Slowly but surely Unai Emery’s men are improving.
  • PSG aren’t dominating and smashing teams like they have been in recent years, but seem a more stable side under Emery. A number of chances are getting missed and once they are taken then PSG could be a very formidable force.
  • The champions haven’t looked at their best on the road this year but statistically 5 out of 7 wins is still a good return. They've only lost at Toulouse & Monaco, both tough locations.
  • Squad condition is good with only midfielder Marco Verratti a new injury. The likes of Serge Aurier & Angel Di Maria will probably come back into the side after getting bench rested in midweek.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • PSG haven’t lost in Montpellier for nearly a decade. They clearly enjoy travelling here and should be able to register a victory today.
  • Montpellier are no mugs but might be sliding out of form a bit. I also worry that the recent hectic schedule will be tough on their small squad. Injuries and suspensions are adding up and it’ll take a big effort from Frederic Hantz’s side today.
  • I would be surprised if PSG didn’t win the game, so taking them on a -1 asian handicap makes some sense. At worst, this should be a one goal win but they’ll probably have a comfortable success.
  • I think this will probably be an over game too. Montpellier are quite an attacking side and may well find the back of the net. However, their recent struggles in front of goal combined with a solid PSG defence puts me off backing over 2.75.
  • I haven’t been overly impressed with the visitors under Unai Emery. This however, doesn’t really feel like a ‘trap game’ and a lot of factors favour PSG. They could even be below their best and still claim something like a 2-0 win.

Prediction: 1-3

Recommended bet 1 unit: PSG -1 (asian) @ 1.86