MX23RW : Sunday, April 18 03:05:21| >> :120:26722:26722:
Feb 7, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stade de la Mosson
MontpellierMontpellier HSC
4-2
DijonDijon
Laborde (48', 56'), Savanier (61'), Skuletic (90+1')
Delort (31'), Mollet (39'), Le Tallec (86')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Coulibaly (5'), Konate (88' pen.)
Balde (27'), Coulibaly (44')
Coulibaly (69')

Preview: Montpellier HSC vs. Dijon - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Montpellier HSC and Dijon, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two teams desperate to end atrocious spells of form in Ligue 1 will lock horns at the Stade de la Mosson on Sunday afternoon as Montpellier HSC play host to Dijon.

The hosts' winless streak stretched to nine matches with a 1-1 draw at Metz in midweek, while Dijon made it six games without a win after losing to Lyon.


Match preview

Montpellier manager Michel Der Zakarian pictured in February 2020© Reuters

It comes as no shock that Montpellier's dreadful run of form has coincided with an injury to Andy Delort, whose prolonged absence from the side has been seriously felt by a below-par Paillade.

However, the nine-goal striker's teammate Gaetan Laborde was the hero of the hour for Montpellier against a European-chasing Metz side, as his equaliser cancelled out Pape Sarr's thunderous opener at the Stade Saint-Symphorien to ensure that La Paillade would not lose four in a row.

Michel Der Zakarian's men had been put to the sword by Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and Lens before their meeting with another top-half team in Metz, but there is reason for optimism after their solid performance against Les Grenats in midweek.

However, the grim reality of La Paillade's situation remains the same. Only Nantes have endured a longer winless streak than Montpellier's nine-game barren run in the top flight, and with Der Zakarian's men now down in 11th - eight adrift of the top five - a late charge for Europe is unlikely to occur now.

Furthermore, seven of Montpellier's last nine home matches have ended in defeat, and the club are yet to keep a clean sheet on familiar territory during the 2020-21 campaign, although Dijon are hardly renowned for any sort of prolific nature in front of goal.

Dijon can certainly pat themselves on the back for restricting Lyon to just one goal on the night, but David Linares was powerless to stop his side falling to a third defeat in a row.

A smartly-taken goal from the returning Lucas Paqueta was all that separated the two sides on Wednesday evening, and that narrow defeat means that Dijon are still waiting for their first victory of 2021.

Les Hiboux have witnessed one of their relegation rivals in Lorient take seven points from their last three matches, so 19th-placed Dijon - four points adrift of safety - cannot rise any higher up the table even with an unexpected win at Montpellier.

A record of 32 goals conceded is easily the best out of any team in the bottom six - a testament to Linares's work on shoring up Dijon's defence - but with only 15 chalked up at the correct end of the pitch, Dijon simply have to find their shooting boots before their chances of survival become all the more slim.

Only two of Dijon's last seven matches on the road have ended in defeat, though, and the visitors managed to hold Montpellier to a 2-2 draw when the sides met back in September.

Montpellier HSC Ligue 1 form: LDLLLD

Dijon Ligue 1 form: DDDLLL


Team News

Gaetan Laborde in action for Montpellier in April 2019© Reuters

Delort is not thought to be too far away from a return to action, but he is only regarded as having a slim chance of coming back in time for this one.

The goalscoring burden will therefore lie on the shoulders of Laborde and Stephy Mavididi once more, and the hosts - who welcome Jonas Omlin back from suspension - also lost Pedro Mendes to injury against Metz.

The extent of the 30-year-old's problem is unclear, but Nicolas Cozza is on standby if required, while Ambroise Oyongo is out with a sprained ankle.

Dijon forward Roger Assale has been ruled out for at least two weeks due to a thigh problem, and Fulham loanee Aboubakar Kamara is not expected to be ready for his debut due to isolation protocols.

Linares will certainly be viewing this as a winnable game and could be tempted to bring Mama Balde and Mounir Chouiar - who was linked with a move away in January - back into the fold on Sunday.

Montpellier HSC possible starting lineup:
Omlin; Cozza, Congre, Hilton; Sambia, Ferri, Mollet, Savanier, Ristic; Laborde, Mavididi

Dijon possible starting lineup:
Racioppi; Boey, Manga, Coulibaly, Muzinga; Ndong, Cheikh; Ebimbe, Celina, Sammaritano; Balde


SM words green background

We say: Montpellier HSC 1-0 Dijon

Both of these teams will view this match as a prime opportunity to pick up a long-awaited three points, and Dijon's solid away form is a reason for cautious optimism ahead of Sunday's battle. However, Montpellier's goalscoring instincts have not been affected too much by their woeful spell of form, and we are backing Der Zakarian's men to end their barren run with a narrow victory over the relegation-threatened Hiboux.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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Aboubakar Kamara in action for Fulham on January 1, 2019
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Fulham striker Aboubakar Kamara joins Dijon on loan
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Lille332010354203470
2Paris Saint-GermainPSG32213871234866
3MonacoMonaco32205767382965
4Lyon321810463313264
5Lens32141085144752
6Marseille33141094641552
7Rennes33149104335851
8Montpellier HSCMontpellier331211105354-147
9Nice32127134142-143
10Metz32119123638-242
11Angers33118143450-1641
12Reims32913103838040
13Saint-EtienneSt Etienne32109133647-1139
14StrasbourgStrasbourg32106164150-936
15Bordeaux32106163545-1036
16Brest32106164455-1136
17Lorient3388174061-2132
18Nimes3286183159-2830
19NantesNantes32513143249-1728
20Dijon3229212056-3615

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