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Ligue 1

  • May 13, 2012
  • • 20:00
  • • Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
  • Referee: F. Fautrel
  • • Attendance: 27649

Montpellier - Lille Preview: Girard's seeking win to move to the brink of a first-ever title in Ligue 1 showdown

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


Bocaly, Yanga-Mbiwa, Hilton, Bedimo
Saihi, Stambouli
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.


  • 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.

Players to watch

R. Cabella

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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The France U21 midfielder was brought in to replace the suspended Younes Belhanda against Rennes on Monday, and superbly excelled in the role. Cabella made the first goal, and forced the second, with a fierce long-range attempt which bounced off the post, off the goalkeeper and in. Rene Girard will be hoping that Cabella replicates his influence on Sunday evening.

E. Hazard

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
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Eden Hazard reaches what is widely expected to be his penultimate gaame in Lille colours, and the wonderkid Belgian won't be wanting to leave without a second consecutive league title. Another stellar season from the 20 year old who has been attracting frenzied interest from the Premier League, he will be hoping to put his absurd technical & dribbling ability to good use in the title showdown.

Editor's Prediction

In arguably the biggest game in French football in recent years, Montpellier - who have a brilliant home record - know that a win against incumbent champions Lille will see them inch ever closer to the title, and perhaps even be crowned champions should results go their way elsewhere. Lille won't want to relinquish their crown, so expect a mouthwatering end-to-end game.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Montpellier HSC MON
Montpellier HSC Montpellier
Lille OSC Métropole LIL
Lille OSC Métropole Lille

Top 3 Predictions

Montpellier HSC MON
1 - 2
Lille OSC Métropole LIL
Montpellier HSC MON
2 - 1
Lille OSC Métropole LIL
Montpellier HSC MON
0 - 2
Lille OSC Métropole LIL