It's Keagan Dolly's time to shine against PSG in France

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The Bafana Bafana international is set to face the French giants and Goal assessed the playmaker's progress in France thus far

Montpellier are set to lock horns with French giants Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday.

The game will see South Africans tuning in with bated breath as they hope to see Keagan Dolly dazzling the star-studded Parisian defence.

It has been a while since South Africa has had a representative in such a high-profile encounter and many will be hoping to see how Dolly fares against the likes of PSG’s Thiago Silva, Edinson Cavani, Blaise Matuidi and a host of other world class footballers.

Meanwhile, Montpellier will be looking to Dolly's creativity as they hope to continue their recent resurgence in the French Ligue 1. It has not been a season to remember for the team from the South of France, who currently find themselves in 12th position, after winning the last two encounters.

However, history will not be on their side on Saturday as the last time La Paillade went on to win three successive games was back in April-May of 2016.

Nonetheless, the former French Ligue 1 champions will be buoyed on by the result of their previous meeting with PSG.

Despite Montpellier’s indifferent form they claimed a stunning 3-0 victory over PSG, most recently, in December of 2016.

The defeat was PSG’s only loss against Montpellier in thirteen previous meetings between the two sides. However, this fixture does tend to wield a number of draws, as the two teams have played out to seven draws in their last 13 games against each other.

Although, Montpellier may fancy their chances, it must be noted that PSG are a totally different prospect at home. PSG are unbeaten in their last six home games against Montpellier in the league, having won two and drawn two games in the process.

It must be noted that the clash is not always known for goals as the last two meetings between the two teams at the Parisian’s base has finished 0-0.

While, PSG may be flying high in the league, Montpellier has proven to be their bogey team off late. The famous Red and Blues have failed to score against Montpellier in three of their last five league meetings, despite scoring in each of their previous 14 meetings before that.

Nevertheless, on current form PSG are clear favourites. Unai Emery’s men are in a rich vein of form. PSG are unbeaten in their last 15 league games, having won 13 and only drawing two matches, against Toulouse and rivals AS Monaco. The Paris-based club are on their best run of form this season as they are on a seven-game winning run in the league.

On the contrary, Montpellier’s form has been nothing short of uninspiring to say the least. But Jean- Louis Gasset’s men have won two of their last four away league games, and that is as many as they have won in their previous 18 matches, which saw them draw six games and be on the losing end 10 times.

The introduction of the Montpellier born Gasset, has indeed sparked new life into what was a demoralised Montpellier side, under former coach Frederic Hantz.

Despite Montpellier’s woes, goalscoring has been the least of their worries. The Ligue 1 club have netted in 11 of their last 12 league games, with Benin born forward Steve Mounie being their stand out performer.

The 22-year-old has been involved in five of Montpellier's last 10 goals in Ligue 1, scoring four goals and contributing one assist.

While PSG pose dangers from all over the field, Montpellier will be wary of midfielder Matuidi, who has had a knack for scoring against Montpellier in the past.

Matuidi has scored two of his side’s last three goals against Montpellier, and go into Saturday’s encounter off the back of scoring a brace against Metz. The 30-year-old is not known for goals as his double against the Maroons was his first in 10 years, in being in the top-flight.

 

Keagan Dolly stats

 

Lastly Dolly’s form since joining the French side, has not shown anything amazing to write home about. The 24-year-old is yet to adapt to life in France and he has been previously cited the language barrier as being an obstacle.

Considering where Montpellier currently find themselves on the Ligue 1 log, it is no surprise that Dolly’s attacking stats are underwhelming. In Dolly’s eight appearances for Montpellier, the winger only started half of those games, having accumulated 325 minutes of football in total.

According to Opta, Dolly has a shooting accuracy of 20 percent, having only had one shot on target since making the move to France. Although, Dolly’s passing has been a standout feature of his game.

The Westbury-born native, boasts a 75 percent pass completion rate, as he has made 101 successful passes in his short time in France. Worryingly though, is Dolly’s chance creation stats.

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During his time with Masandawana, Dolly's creativity was his greatest strength but since making the move he has struggled to find that creative spark. The Bafana Bafana international has only created three chances from open play and is yet to register an assist in Ligue 1.

It should be noted that Dolly’s defensive attributes has certainly improved since joining Montpellier. Dolly has won 11 duels and recovered the ball an impressive 19 times, only committing two fouls in the process.

Despite the expectations surrounding Dolly’s participation in such an illustrious fixture it is unlikely that he will start, as Montpellier have only claimed three victories with him on the field.  

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