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The three-time Ligue 2 champions have defied the odds this season and can win the highest honour in French football

Nobody in French football expected Montpellier to be in the top half of the table, let alone challenging for the Ligue 1 title.

But La Paillade have been a revelation this season, and are just 90 minutes away from claiming their first-ever French league crown - ahead of big-spending Paris Saint-Germain.

Montpellier sit at the summit of French football, three points ahead of the Parisians, and need only a draw against relegation-bound Auxerre to win L'Hexagoal.

PSG were heavily favoured to win the league, having splashed a French-record €108 million during the summer, making them the biggest spenders in the world for the 2011–12 season. They brought in the likes of Javier Pastore, Kevin Gameiro and Thiago Motta.

In contrast, Montpellier spent just €1.7 million, acquiring Henri Bedimo from Lens, Hilton from Marseille and Jonathan Tinhan from Grenoble.

After finishing 14th last year, the three-time Ligue 2 champions were not expected to contend but owe much of this season's success to their strike force, timely victories and clinical tactics.

Montpellier have scored 66 goals this campaign, with Olivier Giroud in impressive form, netting 25 goals, while Younes Belhanda has contributed 14 strikes.

Coach Rene Girard has instilled a strong mentality. His club have surrendered only 33 goals in the 37 matches played, ranking them second in fewest goals allowed.

Their home form has also been a surprise and the Stade de la Mosson has been a fortress. They have lost just once; a 3-0 to PSG in September. But that loss only served to galvanise the club, as they went unbeaten for the next eight games.

Now, after a tremendous conclusion to the campaign, they stand only a point away from glory that was unthinkable at the start of the season.

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