Preview - Marseille vs Montpellier 09 April 2018

Started by Harry85, Apr 07, 2018, 06:24 AM

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Match Day 32
Marseille vs Montpellier
Monday, April 9th, 2018
04:00 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Stade Vélodrome

Last five matches form: W W L W L
Average goals per match: 2.06
Average goals against per match: 1.23
Top Scorer: Florian Thauvin (16)

Last five matches form: D D D D W
Average goals per match: 1.00
Average goals against per match: 0.84
Top Scorer: Giovanni Sio (10)

We look set for an excellent clash at the Stade Vélodrome in the final game of Match Day 32 as Marseille play host to Montpellier.

Marseille are beginning to feel the heat in the race for the Champions League. They still sit in the crucial third qualifying position, but their recent loss at home to fourth placed Lyon has closed the gap to just two points. With Lyon playing a woeful Metz side earlier in the day, Marseille may find themselves needing to win this in order to reclaim third spot.

Montpellier are involved in a European chase of their own as they bid to overhaul Rennes who sit just one point above them in the final Europa League spot.

Marseille fans wait with bated breath to see if star man Florian Thauvin returns in time for this. Rumours from the camp sound positive but we won't know until the teams are announced. His presence in the side would significantly enhance his sides prospects of breaking down this Montpellier side. Rolando may also make his return, whilst Pelé will continue to deputise in goal for the injured Steve Mandanda.

Not many concerns for Montpellier with left winger Jerome Roussillon the only slight doubt.

Following defeats in their opening two away games, Montpellier have compiled a highly impressive away record. Losing just the once more - to PSG - in 13 outings. One of the toughest teams in the League to break down, seven of these games have been draws, and they have kept an impressive 6 clean sheets during this spell.

Should Thauvin fail to make it in time, we wouldn't be surprised to see this end up as a draw. With the Frenchman expected to make it though, we will take the home side for a narrow success.

Prediction: Marseille 2 - 1 Montpellier


Half time: 0 - 0
Full time: 0 - 0
Shots: 12 - 6
Shots on target: 3 - 2
Corner Kicks: 6 - 2
Possession: 65% - 35%

No goals at the Velodrome but we did have three yellow cards. Referee Mikael Lesage taking the names of Lucas Ocampos and Luiz Gustavo for Marseille in addition to Montpellier's Paul Bastien Lasne.

Not for the first time this season, Marseille struggled for creativity without the absent Florian Thauvin. The sooner the mercurial Frenchman returns the better as far as Marseille fans are concerned.

So stark were the home sides struggles here that they didn't even register a shot on target in the whole of the first half. Not that Montpellier fared much better, with a long-range effort from Solomon Sambia in the 21st minute being as close as they came. 0-0 at the break.

Marseille did get a little closer in the second half. Morgan Sanson coming closest of all in the 55th minute, finding space to shoot inside the box but seeing his effort strike the post.

Attempting to turn the screw and build pressure on their opponents, Marseille carved another opportunity in the 67th minute, Benjamin Lecomte proved equal to Kostainos Mitroglou's volleyed effort though and we remained goalless until the final whistle.

Marseille's home defeat to Lyon two weeks ago always looked to be potentially costly and so it has proved. Having had their Champions League destiny in their own hands for so long, that is no longer the case. This draw coupled with Lyon's demolition of Metz sees Lyon move up to third at the expense of Marseille.

A solid away point for Montpellier who remain firmly in the mix for Europa League qualification, sitting just one point off fifth placed Rennes in the race for fifth spot.

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