MX23RW : Saturday, April 17 00:23:40| >> :120:8075:8075:
May 16, 2015 at 8pm UK at Stade de la Mosson
MontpellierMontpellier HSC
1-2
PSGParis Saint-Germain
Mounier (40')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Matuidi (17'), Lavezzi (25')

Preview: Montpellier HSC vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Sports Mole takes a closer look at both sides as Paris Saint-Germain look to clinch the Ligue 1 title against Montpellier HSC on Saturday.

A dramatic Ligue 1 title race could come to an end on Saturday evening when Paris Saint-Germain travel to the Stade de la Mosson to take on Montpellier HSC.

The champions currently hold a six-point advantage at the top of the table, and a draw in their penultimate fixture would be enough to hold off the Lyon challenge.


Montpellier

Montpellier's French forward Anthony Mounier reacts after scoring a penalty during the French L1 football match between Montpellier and Bastia, on April 4, 2015© Getty Images

Rolland Courbis will look at the final two games of the campaign as an opportunity to display just how far his Montpellier side have come in the space of a year since they struggled to a 15th-place finish last season.

It has been a much different season for Montpellier, and extra quality in certain areas could have been enough to earn them a place in the Europa League.

However, the club's supporters will be wary of expecting too much from this squad, and after improving so much in recent months, there is a renewed sense of optimism ahead of the summer transfer window.

Hopes of a top-six finish could be dashed before next week's meeting with Bordeaux, but Courbis is certain to see the match against the champions as a chance to cause an upset with a positive attacking performance in front of their home supporters.

Montpellier have lost just one of their last six home matches, and with only PSG, Lyon and Marseille winning more home games this season, the side should be full of confidence.

Recent form: DLWLDW


PSG

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian defender Maxwell is congratuled by teammates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Guingamp on May 8, 2015© Getty Images

After spending much of the season battling Lyon and Marseille, before finally shaking off the latter, PSG are now on the brink of winning a third successive title thanks to Lyon's slip-ups in recent weeks.

In truth, Lyon may have done enough to win the title in previous years, but PSG have done brilliantly to capitalise on their failures and Laurent Blanc appears to have relieved the pressure which rested on his shoulders just a few months back.

An impressive Champions League campaign was halted by Barcelona, but the treble is still on for the club from the capital as they bid to add the Ligue 1 and Coupe de France titles to the Coupe de la Ligue success they enjoyed.

PSG have been simply unstoppable for much of the second half of the season, and their attacking talent has delivered the goods recently with 17 goals in the last four matches.

The summer transfer window is likely to be a busy one for the club as reports continue to link them with moves for Kevin De Bruyne, Yaya Toure and a number of other players, but it has been the likes of Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore who have stepped up to prove their worth recently.

Avoiding defeat against Montpellier is certainly not the toughest challenge PSG have faced this season, but a loss would pile the pressure on once again ahead of the meeting with Reims on the final day of the season.

Recent form: WWWWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WLWWWW


Team News

Lorient's French midfielder Raffidine Abdullah (L) vies with Paris Saint-Germain's Argentinian midfielder Ezequiel Lavezzi during the French first division L1 football match on November 1, 2014© Getty Images

The return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has forced Ezequiel Lavezzi to drop to the PSG bench, and the Argentine looks set to play a supporting role once again this weekend.

Cavani and Ibrahimovic shared five goals in the emphatic win over Guingamp, and they should be joined by Pastore in a familiar attacking trio.

Yohan Cabaye should keep his place in the centre of midfield, but David Luiz is once again expected to miss out due to injury.

Montpellier attacker Anthony Mounier scored the winner against Lens last weekend and he should start on the left side of a front three against the champions.

Lucas Barrios led the line in the win over Lens, but he could drop to the bench should Courbis choose to recall Kevin Berigaud.

Montpellier possible starting lineup:
Ligali, Deplagne, Skhiri, El Kaoutari, Tiene, Saihi, Marveaux, Martin, Wuthrich, Mounier, Berigaud

PSG possible starting lineup:
Sirigu, Aurier, Maxwell, Silva, Marquinhos, Cabaye, Verratti, Matuidi, Pastore, Ibrahimovic, Cavani


Head To Head

PSG cruised to a 3-0 triumph when the two sides met in the Coupe de France in January, but Montpellier earned a point in the reverse league fixture when they held the champions to a goalless draw in the capital.

Montpellier have only won one of the last 12 matches between the two teams in all competitions, but there have been seven draws during that stretch of games.

PSG have not lost an away league fixture to Montpellier since suffering a 3-2 defeat in August 2003.


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We say: Montpellier 1-3 PSG

Montpellier have been very impressive for long spells of the season, but they are likely to fall short in their bid for a top-six finish. PSG are in excellent form and they should clinch the title with a comfortable win.



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Paris Saint-Germain's Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Metz at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on April 28, 2015
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Lille332010354203470
2Paris Saint-GermainPSG32213871234866
3MonacoMonaco32205767382965
4Lyon321810463313264
5Lens32141085144752
6Marseille32131094339449
7Rennes32139104035548
8Montpellier HSCMontpellier331211105354-147
9Nice32127134142-143
10Metz32119123638-242
11Angers32118133447-1341
12Reims32913103838040
13Saint-EtienneSt Etienne32109133647-1139
14StrasbourgStrasbourg32106164150-936
15Bordeaux32106163545-1036
16Brest32106164455-1136
17Lorient3288163858-2032
18Nimes3286183159-2830
19NantesNantes32513143249-1728
20Dijon3229212056-3615

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