MX23RW : Saturday, January 29 00:22:31| >> :600:562421:562421:
Jan 16, 2022 at 2pm UK at Stade de la Meinau
StrasbourgStrasbourg
3-1
MontpellierMontpellier HSC
Majeed Waris (77'), Thomasson (84'), Gameiro (86')
Bellegarde (22'), Kandil (70')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Mollet (11')
Ferri (59'), Savanier (65')
Wahi (66')

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

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

After being knocked out of the Coupe de France by Montpellier HSC, Strasbourg will have payback on their minds when they host La Paillade on Sunday at Stade de la Meinau.

Le Racing began the second half of their Ligue 1 campaign with a 2-0 win over their biggest rivals Metz, while Montpellier come into this contest having won six consecutive matches in all competitions, with their last victory coming against Strasbourg 1-0 at the beginning of the year.


Match preview

Strasbourg players celebrate after the match against Nice on December 5, 2021© Reuters

The 2021-22 campaign has given the Strasbourg faithful a reason for optimism with their team collecting 29 points from their opening 19 league games, their highest total to this point of a domestic season since 1996-97 (31) when they finished ninth.

Under Julien Stephan, this team have been effective by often switching up play, as their quick movement and build-up has created a number of quality chances.

When he moved from Rennes to Alsace, Stephan brought with him an experienced defender in Gerzino Nyamsi, and along with Lucas Perrin (on loan from Marseille), they have formed a strong partnership in central defence that has been able to start several attacks for this team.

Having some quality playmakers and a good build-up is excellent, but none of that would matter if not for their solid play in the final third, and Strasbourg have been exceptional when it comes to finishing off their chances, scoring 36 goals thus far, second only to the league-leaders Paris Saint-Germain (40).

Positional rotations in central positions are a crucial part of the tactics employed by Stephan, as this side have possessed perhaps the most precise and effective off-the-ball movement in possession phases of any Ligue 1 side this season.

Les Coureurs use their aerial strength to their advantage, with 10 of their 36 goals coming off headers as they are near the top of the Ligue 1 stats when it comes to crosses, and they are among the most accurate as well, clicking at around 35%.

Montpellier's Stephy Mavididi celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on October 17, 2021© Reuters

With a victory in each of their last four league fixtures, life is good for the club from Occitanie, who are in fifth, but only trailing Rennes on goal difference for a place in the Europa League group stage next season.

Olivier Dall'Oglio, a former defender during his playing days for Strasbourg, has this team in excellent form at the moment, outscoring their opponents 12-2 in their last four league fixtures.

It has been a long time since they have put together a run like their current one in league play (four), with their last lengthy winning streak coming in between January and February 2010 when they won five consecutive domestic games.

This is a side that like to bring their fullbacks into the attack to overload opposing defences, and they have a lot of creativity in the middle of the pitch to throw their opponents off balance.

They have only conceded one goal in their last three road matches in all competitions, winning four of their previous five games played away from home.

Montpellier have won many league fixtures in convincing fashion of late, although they do allow their share of scoring opportunities, conceding 22 targeted efforts in their last four domestic affairs.

Strasbourg Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Strasbourg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Montpellier HSC Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Montpellier HSC form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W



Team News

Strasbourg's Habib Diallo celebrates with teammates on December 5, 2021© Reuters

Strasbourg will be without perhaps their biggest aerial threat in Ludovic Ajorque as the 27-year-old, who leads the team in goals and assists with 10 and six respectively, will be suspended for this match.

Alexander Djiku and Habib Diallo are on international duty for Ghana and Senegal respectively, while Eiji Kawashima could miss this game because of COVID-19 and Maxime Le Marchand is not expected back until early April with a back injury.

Former Atletico Madrid striker Kevin Gameiro is without a goal in league play since December 1, although he notched the equaliser in their 1-1 draw versus Montpellier back in October while Jean-Ricner Bellegarde assisted on their winning goal last weekend, his second of the campaign, putting him one back of Frederic Guilbert for third on the team.

The versatile Mihailo Ristic had the only goal when Montpellier defeated Strasbourg at the Coupe de France in their previous match, while Florent Mollet put them in front in their last Ligue 1 fixture against them in the first half of this season.

Seven different players have found the back of the net for La Paillade in their last two league games, with Stephy Mavididi notching two and the other tallies coming courtesy of Elye Wahi, Junior Sambia, Valere Germain, Teji Savanier, Nicolas Cozza and Ristic.

Ambroise Oyongo is representing Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, Maxime Esteve is out with a thigh problem, while Thibault Tamas and Pedro Mendes will not be available with ACL injuries.

Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Sels; Lienard, Sissoko, Nyamsi, Perrin, Guilbert; Bellegarde, Aholou, Thomasson; Gameiro, Waris

Montpellier HSC possible starting lineup:
Omlin; Souquet, Cozza, Sakho, Ristic; Ferri, Chotard, Sambia, Savanier, Mavididi; Germain


SM words green background

We say: Strasbourg 2-2 Montpellier HSC

These two teams know how to finish off their opportunities, and they are both very aggressive, so it would not be a surprise to see a few goals scored in this one.

Strasbourg will be without their top two goalscorers, so their depth will be tested, but Montpellier are coming off a lengthy delay, having not played since January 2, and that might favour Les Coureurs early on.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data


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How you voted: Strasbourg vs Montpellier

Strasbourg
39.4%
Draw
21.2%
Montpellier HSC
39.4%
33
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG22165146182853
2Nice22134536181842
3Marseille21117330161440
4StrasbourgStrasbourg22105744291535
5Rennes22104841212034
6Montpellier HSCMontpellier2210483730734
7MonacoMonaco229673526933
8Lens229673631533
9NantesNantes229583027332
10Lille228863030032
11Lyon218852927231
12Angers227872829-129
13Brest227782833-528
14Reims225982227-524
15Clermont2256112239-1721
16Troyes2255122031-1120
17Bordeaux2248103453-1920
18Metz2247112443-1919
19Lorient2238111838-2017
20Saint-EtienneSt Etienne2236131943-2415

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