MX23RW : Saturday, January 23 22:39:34| >> :120:82169:82169:
Jan 15, 2021 at 8pm UK at Stade de la Mosson
MontpellierMontpellier HSC
2-3
MonacoMonaco
Wahi (64'), Delort (69')
Chotard (83'), Savanier (90')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Volland (24'), Ben Yedder (35', 61' pen.)
Fofana (17'), Aguilar (59'), Maripan (88')

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

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

Montpellier HSC will attempt to end a five-game winless run in Ligue 1 when they welcome Monaco to the Stade de la Mosson on Friday evening.

In contrast, the visitors are searching for their third win on the trot following dominant victories over Lorient and Angers.


Match preview

Montpellier manager Michel Der Zakarian pictured in February 2020© Reuters

As the only team in the top 16 unable to boast even one win from their last five matches in Ligue 1, Montpellier's European dream is slowly slipping away.

Michel Der Zakarian's men opened 2021 with a dismal 3-1 defeat at Marseille before taking on a Nantes outfit starting to look more resilient under Raymond Domenech.

La Paillade once again could not get over the line as they played out a 1-1 draw with the relegation-threatened Canaris, as Ambroise Oyongo's early opener was cancelled out by Imran Louza's second-half equaliser on Saturday.

That result not only stretched Montpellier's winless streak on their own turf to four matches, but the hosts have now dropped to eighth in the table and find themselves five points adrift of the European places.

With the prolific Andy Delort leading the line for Montpellier, their tally of 31 goals is the highest of any team outside of the top four, and Der Zakarian will need the eight-goal forward to be firing on all cylinders if his side are to have any chance of ending their winless run and - at least temporarily - leapfrogging Angers in the table.

Monaco manager Niko Kovac pictured in September 2020© Reuters

In contrast, the unpredictable Monaco have started the New Year as they mean to go on with dominant victories over Lorient and Angers, scoring eight goals and conceding just twice.

Last weekend's resounding 3-0 win over Les Scoistes saw Guillermo Maripan, Kevin Volland and Stevan Jovetic all find the back of the net to propel Monaco up to fourth in the table - level on points with Rennes, who played out a 2-2 draw with Lyon last time out.

Niko Kovac has now witnessed his team take 10 points from their last four matches and they will be feeling confident about their chances of maintaining their perfect start to 2021 here, although third-placed Lille - who boast 39 points compared to Monaco's 33 - cannot be caught by Les Monegasques just yet.

While Montpellier's Delort and Gaetan Laborde have proven effective together with 14 goals between them this term, Monaco pairing Volland and Wissam Ben Yedder boast a combined total of 16 strikes, and the former will be aiming to make the net ripple for the fifth match in a row this weekend.

The two sides played out a 1-1 draw in their first meeting of the season back in October, but Montpellier can only boast a solitary win from their last 21 attempts against Monaco on home soil.

Montpellier HSC Ligue 1 form: WLDLLD

Monaco Ligue 1 form: LLWDWW


Team News

Montpellier captain Hilton pictured in February 2017© Reuters

Der Zakarian opted for a five-man defence against Nantes which did not pay dividends, with Hilton and Nicolas Cozza both at risk of losing their place to the returning Pedro Mendes.

Stephy Mavididi and Teji Savanier should return to full training from COVID-19 infection later this week, but it seems unlikely that the duo will be risked from the first whistle.

Florent Mollet will also be assessed after being forced off early at the weekend, while Junior Sambia and Mihailo Ristic could be in line for recalls if Der Zakarian tweaks his formation.

Monaco have much less to worry about on the injury front, but Florentino Luis is still out after contracting coronavirus last week.

Cesc Fabregas is also yet to return from his calf problem, but Kovac is not expected to make many alterations to his side from last weekend's vital win.

However, the fit-again Aleksandr Golovin is pushing for a start over Gelson Martins, while Maripan should keep Axel Disasi out of the team once more following his goal against Angers.

Montpellier HSC possible starting lineup:
Omlin; Sambia, Mendes, Congre, Oyongo; Souquet, Chotard, Ferri, Ristic; Laborde, Delort

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Lecomte; Sidibe, Maripan, Badiashile, Henrique; Diop, Tchouameni, Fofana, Golovin; Ben Yedder, Volland


SM words green background

We say: Montpellier HSC 1-2 Monaco

Montpellier just cannot produce the goods on their own patch at the moment, but the hosts could be boosted by the potential returns of Mavididi and Savanier for this tie. However, Monaco know what a victory here could do for their European prospects, and we are backing Kovac's men to maintain their 100% record in 2021 with a slender victory at the Stade de la Mosson.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data


ID:430312:cQx

How you voted: Montpellier vs Monaco

Montpellier HSC
17.5%
Draw
20.3%
Monaco
62.2%
143
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG21143448113745
2Lille20126235152042
3Lyon20117239192040
4MonacoMonaco21123642301239
5Rennes2010643022836
6Marseille209562722532
7Lens219483030031
8Angers209382531-630
9Bordeaux208572321229
10Metz207762118328
11Montpellier HSCMontpellier218493339-628
12Brest2082103136-526
13Nice207582328-526
14StrasbourgStrasbourg2072112932-323
15Reims205692831-321
16Saint-EtienneSt Etienne204792030-1019
17NantesNantes203982032-1218
18Nimes2043131641-2515
19Dijon192891226-1414
20Lorient1933132038-1812

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