Champions League Preview: Montpellier - Schalke
Huub Stevens' side sealed its place in the last 16 by beating Olympiakos on matchday 5, but can make sure it ends the group stage ahead of Arsenal on Tuesday.
By Enis Koylu
Congre, Yanga-Mbiwa, Hilton, El Kaoutari
Utaka, Belhanda, Cabella
Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Fuchs
Farfan, Holtby, Draxler
Montpellier coach Rene Girard could name a few changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Olympique Lyonnais on Saturday. Geoffrey Jourdren, Teddy Mezague, Joris Marveuax, Karim Ait-Fana and Garry Bocaly have all been struggling with injuries, but Hilton returns to the fold after a recent layoff.
Meanwhile, Jamel Saihi and Cyril Jeunechamp could both feature having missed recent domestic matches through suspension, though the latter will have to see off competition from Daniel Congre. Finally, Remy Cabella could come back into the fold.
Whether Huub Stevens' decides to pick a strong Schalke side is open to conjecture. In theory he could name the same team that drew 1-1 with Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday, featuring stars such as Lewis Holtby, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Julian Draxler.
However, he could opt to give game time to some of the fringe players, including the likes of Christoph Metzelder, Tranquillo Barnetta, Chinedu Obasi and Teemu Pukki. Timo Hildebrand should continue in goal in place of out of favor Lars Unnerstall.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Montpellier's 2-0 loss to Arsenal on matchday 5 not only confirmed its exit from the Champions League, but from all European competition this season.
- The only point the Ligue 1 champion has won in the tournament was against Schalke at the Veltins Arena on matchday 2.
- MHSC has entertained German opposition on three previous occasions, beating Koln and Duisburg in 1997 and 1999 respectively, before being held to a 1-1 draw by Hamburg.
- Schalke needs a victory to confirm its place at the top of Group B. If it were to lose or draw, it would have to hope that Olympiakos can stop Arsenal from winning.
- Julian Draxler (pictured, right), who scored the equalizer against Borussia Monchengladbach at the weekend, broke his arm when these two sides first met in October.
- Their victory over Olympiakos a fortnight ago was the only game that Schalke has won in its last five in all competitions.
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Top 3 Predictions
Montpellier Herault SC 1-2 FC Schalke 04
- 16.05 %
Montpellier Herault SC 1-1 FC Schalke 04
- 14.4 %
Montpellier Herault SC 0-2 FC Schalke 04
- 13.99 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||2012-12-04||Montpellier Herault SC 1 - FC Schalke 04 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||2012-10-03||FC Schalke 04 2 - Montpellier Herault SC 2|
|Montpellier Herault SC|
|2014-04-11||Montpellier Herault SC 2 - Olympique de Marseille 3||Lig1|
|2014-04-05||EA Guingamp 1 - Montpellier Herault SC 2||Lig1|
|2014-03-29||Montpellier Herault SC 0 - Valenciennes FC 0||Lig1|
|2014-03-22||FC Nantes 2 - Montpellier Herault SC 1||Lig1|
|2014-03-16||Montpellier Herault SC 1 - Girondins de Bordeaux 1||Lig1|
|5||Vitorino Hilton da Silva||Defender|
|21||Abdelhamid El Kaoutari||Defender|
|19||Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi||Striker|