Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Montpellier v Paris Saint-Germain: Blanc´s men take strong record to La Mosson

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 19 Aug 2015

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Montpellier will have to buck a recent trend and overcome a poor start to the season if they are to upset the odds against Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Laurent Blanc’s men have been solid in their opening two league matches, a tricky first game at Lille ending in a 1-0 victory before new boys Gazelec Ajaccio were seen off 2-0 on Sunday.

PSG have perhaps not played to their full potential in those matches and the fact they have been able to pick up wins is an ominous sign for those looking to prevent the big-spenders from winning a fourth straight league title.

Next up for PSG is a trip to the Stade de la Mosson, a ground that has proved a happy hunting ground for the capital club in recent seasons.

PSG have not lost on their past six league visits to Montpellier, with the hosts last triumphing in a 3-2 victory back in August 2003.

They may also have to contend with the visitors’ new signing Angel di Maria, who could be included in the squad for the first time since his big-money move from Manchester United.

Initial reports suggest the Argentina winger is set for a place among the substitutes’ bench, but it appears unlikely that star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will recover from a knee injury that has ruled him out of the opening two league matches.

Montpellier were the last team to win the league title before PSG’s domestic dominance started, but the 2011-12 campaign now seems a distant memory.

Head coach Rolland Courbis steered his side to a solid seventh-placed finish last term and there were hopes of a push for European football this time around.

The season may still be in its infancy, but Courbis will be worried by the fact his side have started with back-to-back defeats against newly promoted Angers and Rennes without scoring a goal – leaving them bottom of the table.

However, defender Ramy Bensebaini is confident of pulling off an upset.

“The first game we lost against Angers, we were not in the game,” he said.  “Against Rennes we played with good ball possession and confidence, all that was missing was a goal.

“We will have to concentrate against PSG. We will continue to work and why can’t we take all three points against Paris? Also, we are playing at home.”

 

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