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Ligue 1

  • April 7, 2012
  • • 18:00
  • • Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
  • Referee: B. Varela
  • • Attendance: 18429
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Montpellier - Sochaux Preview: Hosts aiming to pull clear at the top of Ligue 1 with victory on Saturday

Montpellier - Sochaux Preview: Hosts aiming to pull clear at the top of Ligue 1 with victory on Saturday

Jamel Saihi (Montpellier)

Rene Girard's men can take another step towards a first-ever Ligue 1 title with victory over a resurgent Sochaux side whose relegation worries are still apparent.


PROBABLE LINEUPS


MONTPELLIER


Jourdren
Bocaly, Yanga-Mbiwa, Hilton, Bedimo
Saihi, Estrada
Ait Fana, Belhanda, Utaka
Giroud

 

FC SOCHAUX MONTBELIARD

FC Sochaux
Richert
Corchia, Poujol, Yaya, Sauget
Lopy, Nogueira
Boudebouz, Martin, Camara
Maiga

Montpellier boss Rene Girard has no pressing injury concerns ahead of the visit of Sochaux to Stade de la Mosson.

Marco Estrada is expected to be named among the starting XI after appearing as a substitute two weeks ago, with Joris Marveaux expected to make way. Olivier Giroud, linked with various clubs this week, will lead the line in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Meanwhile, Sochaux are sweating on the fitness of goalkeeper Teddy Richert who sustained an eye injury last week. The veteran les Lionceaux captain is subject to a late fitness test, with 19-year-old Papa Demba Camara standing by in goal.

Last week's goalscorer Modibo Maiga appears to be prefereed to Edouard Butin in the lone striker role, as Eric Hely's men seek victory that could boost their survival chances.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Montpellier are leading the Ligue 1 table, with 60 points from 29 games.
  • La Paillade have won their previous six home matches without conceding a goal.
  • Rene Girard's men have dropped only five points at Stade de la Mosson this season.
  • Sochaux have won three of their last four fixtures under new boss Eric Hely.
  • Les Lionceaux have only won one of their last five encounters against Montpellier.
  • Saturday's visitors are 19th in the table, with 27 points.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
16Geoffrey JourdrenGoalkeeper
-H. BedimoDefender
5Vitorino Hilton da SilvaDefender
13Mapou Yanga-MbiwaDefender
27Cyril JeunechampDefender
13M. EstradaMidfielder
29Younes BelhandaMidfielder
23Jamel SaihiMidfielder
99John UtakaStriker
12Olivier GiroudStriker
19Souleymane CamaraStriker
18Karim Ait FanaStriker
2Garry BocalyDefender
21Abdelhamid El KaoutariDefender
6Joris MarveauxMidfielder
12Geoffrey DernisMidfielder
22Benjamin Stambouli Midfielder
20Rémy CabellaMidfielder
14Romain PitauMidfielder
1Pierrick CrosGoalkeeper
23David SaugetDefender
4Banana YayaDefender
28Sebastien CorchiaDefender
27Abdoul CamaraMidfielder
18Sébastien RoudetMidfielder
10Marvin MartinMidfielder
31Joseph Romeric LopyMidfielder
7Ryad BoudebouzMidfielder
10Modibo MaigaStriker
9Sloan PrivatStriker
22Cédric BakambuStriker
-Thierry DoubaiMidfielder
-Lionel ZoumaDefender
29Mathieu-Philippe PeybernesDefender
40P. CamaraGoalkeeper
11Yassine MikariDefender
Players to Watch
Olivier Giroud
Olivier Giroud
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 12
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Giroud is the man of the moment in France. The ex-Tours striker has enjoyed a stellar season, with back-pages across Europe speculating over a potential move to the Premier League. With 18 goals in the league this season, the la Paillade hitman is expected to be the focal point of the hosts' attack, with a leaky Sochaux defence needing to be alert if they are to grab
Marvin Martin
Marvin Martin
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Martin had enjoyed an amazing 2010-11 season, breaking the divisional record of assists, with 17 decisive passes. This campaign however, the attacking midfielder, now a part of the national team has struggled to replicate the form he showed, with his demise reflecting that of Sochaux's. Though still very much an integral part of les Lionceaux, Martin is odds-on to leave Stade Bonal, though not without guiding them to safety, with Saturday's game very much important to Hely's men.
Prediction
The Ligue 1 leaders are huge favourites for this tie, and with a two-week rest set to invigorate their side rather than disadvantage them, it is hard to see a resurgent Sochaux claim all three points when there is so much at stake. A comfortable win for the hosts looks to be the most likely outcome.
Editor's Prediction

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