Montpellier - Lille Preview: Girard's seeking win to move to the brink of a first-ever title in Ligue 1 showdown
An intriguing encounter sees the league leaders face third-placed Les Dogues in a match which could see MSHC crowned champions if PSG fail to beat Rennes on Sunday
By Mohammed Ali
Bocaly, Yanga-Mbiwa, Hilton, Bedimo
Camara, Cabella, Utaka
Debuchy, Chedjou, Basa, Digne
Balmont, Mavuba, Pedretti
Cole, De Melo, Hazard
Montpellier coach Rene Girard will be without the services of influential playmaker Younes Belhanda for the last two games of the season after the Moroccan international was handed a four-match suspension for his part in the fracas that ensued in the 2-2 draw with Evian in week 35.
Indeed, Henri Bedimo will play his final game of the season after he was ruled out of next week's end-of-season encounter with Auxerre for picking up his 3rd yellow card in less than 10 games.
To replace Belhanda, Remy Cabella will be expected to deputise in much the same way as he did in the impressive 2-0 win over Rennes last Monday. Benjamin Stambouli will replace Marco Estrada, with the Chilean serving the final game of his suspension on Sunday.
Lille have no major concerns ahead of the Ligue 1 title showdown at Stade de la Mosson on Sunday evening, with the only issue for Rudi Garcia being the fitness of Franck Beria who is struggling with a knee problem. Impressive youngster Lucas Digne will slot in at left-back, with Brazilian striker Tulio de Melo, who earlier this week signed a new contract, expected to be given the nod ahead of Nolan Roux.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Montpellier will secure a first-ever Ligue 1 title on Sunday if they beat incumbent champions Lille on Saturday and challengers PSG fail to beat Rennes.
- Since being promoted in 2009, MHSC have won all three of their home games against Les Dogues.
- Olivier Giroud has a 100% scoring record against Rudi Garcia's side.
- Lille have won eight of their last Ligue 1 matches, enabling them to hold a thin chance of reclaiming their title.
- Eden Hazard is one of two players to have notched up 15 league goals and 15 league assists in Europe. The other - Barcelona's Lionel Messi.
- Defeat on Sunday evening will end the title challenge for the northern side. Champions League qualification is already secured.
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Top 3 Predictions
Montpellier Herault SC 1-2 LOSC Lille Métropole
- 16.54 %
Montpellier Herault SC 2-1 LOSC Lille Métropole
- 16.06 %
Montpellier Herault SC 0-2 LOSC Lille Métropole
- 8.66 %
|France - Ligue 1 (Lig1)||Oct 20, 2013||Montpellier Herault SC 0 - LOSC Lille Métropole 1|
|France - Ligue 1 (Lig1)||May 19, 2013||Montpellier Herault SC 0 - LOSC Lille Métropole 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (Lig1)||Dec 23, 2012||LOSC Lille Métropole 4 - Montpellier Herault SC 1|
|France - Ligue 1 (Lig1)||May 14, 2012||Montpellier Herault SC 1 - LOSC Lille Métropole 0|
|France - Ligue 1 (Lig1)||Aug 15, 2011||LOSC Lille Métropole 0 - Montpellier Herault SC 1|
|Montpellier Herault SC|
|Dec 5, 2013||Montpellier Herault SC 0 - FC Lorient 2||Lig1|
|Nov 30, 2013||Olympique de Marseille 2 - Montpellier Herault SC 0||Lig1|
|Nov 24, 2013||Montpellier Herault SC 1 - EA Guingamp 1||Lig1|
|Nov 10, 2013||Valenciennes FC 1 - Montpellier Herault SC 1||Lig1|
|Nov 4, 2013||Montpellier Herault SC 1 - FC Nantes 1||Lig1|
|LOSC Lille Métropole|
|Dec 4, 2013||LOSC Lille Métropole 1 - Olympique de Marseille 0||Lig1|
|Dec 1, 2013||Valenciennes FC 0 - LOSC Lille Métropole 1||Lig1|
|Nov 24, 2013||LOSC Lille Métropole 1 - Toulouse FC 0||Lig1|
|Nov 10, 2013||EA Guingamp 0 - LOSC Lille Métropole 0||Lig1|
|Nov 4, 2013||LOSC Lille Métropole 2 - AS Monaco 0||Lig1|
|5||Vitorino Hilton da Silva||Defender|
|21||Abdelhamid El Kaoutari||Defender|
|18||Karim Ait Fana||Striker|
|-||Aurélien Chedjou Fongang||Defender|
|24||Rio Antonio Mavuba||Midfielder|
Times In MYT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed