The last two champions kick off the new Ligue 1 campaign under new management on Friday, and Al Hain-Cole expects the hosts' new defensive set-up to make for a tight gameThe French league season gets underway on Friday, as champions PSG travel to the Stade de le Mosson to take on Montpellier.
The hosts lost just one of their final 15 home games last season, but are outsiders at 15/4 (4.75) with bet365 to kick off the new campaign with an eye-catching victory.
However, Les Parisiens collected nine more points on the road than the next best away side on their way to the title, and are favourites at 4/5 (1.80) to start the defence of their crown with a win.
Five of the last seven meetings between these sides have resulted in a draw, and you can get odds of 12/5 (3.40) on them cancelling each other out once again.
Having masterminded a shock Ligue 1 title victory two seasons ago, last campaign’s disappointing ninth place finish saw Rene Girard leave Montpellier when his contract expired in the summer, to be replaced by Jean Fernandez.
The former Nancy boss seems to have immediately set his sights on adding some steel to a backline that went from the meanest in the division during the title campaign to conceding a disappointing 51 goals in 38 games last season, the same as 17th-placed Ajaccio.
La Paillade have kept six clean sheets in seven pre-season friendlies since Fernandez arrived, and will no doubt set themselves up conservatively in an attempt to stifle their opponents’ fearsome forward line.
With this in mind, odds of 8/11 (1.73) offer tempting rewards on under 2.5 goals going in, having paid out in four of the visitors’ last five away league fixtures, as well as the last two encounters between the sides.
While Fernandez’s men should succeed in offering some resistance, a forward line partnering last season’s 30-goal Ligue 1 top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic with 64 million Euro man Edinson Cavani is surely too hot to handle for the full 90 minutes.
It would therefore be no surprise if the game followed the same pattern as each of PSG’s last five away league games and resulted in an away win after remaining tied at the break, at lucrative 10/3 (4.33) odds.
|Under 2.5 goals for a 1pt stake at 8/11 (1.73) with bet365
||Draw/PSG at FT/HT for a 0.5pt stake at 10/3 (4.33) with bet365
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.