Montpellier - Lyon - Sunday 20.00 GMT
Lyon had a really tough last weekend with a defeat away at Lille (2-1) despite taking the lead early on in the game. They really struggled after the break, especially in their attitude and commitment and it was a real bad day at the office for them. Fortunately, they still manage to keep their position at the top of the table after PSG only drew at Monaco but their lead is only a point now over the champions and they are feeling the pressure. On top of that, this is another tricky game for them on Sunday evening away at Montpellier who are on fire at the moment.
Lyon have to put things right if they want to stay top of the table but they could be under even bigger pressure if PSG beat Lens at home on Saturday. It will be a big test of character for this young OL squad. They need to show they can cope with the pressure and the expectations. They would have surely learnt a lot from the loss at Lille. They were too far from their best. Gonalons was really poor and Lacazette, for his second game since coming back from injury, showed too many signs of frustration. He wants to already be back to his pre injury level (21 goals in 22 league games) but he is still short of match fitness and of rhythm. He is a bit impatient and it is not helping the team. He will be fitter come Sunday and he will surely pose a bigger threat to the Montpellier defence than he did to the Lille one.
Manager Hubert Fournier will also be under pressure. He has got much right tactically in the last five games with his team only winning one (for three draws and a defeat). Lyon have only taken 9 points out of the last 18. And if they are still hanging on their first place in the table and they cannot afford to drop more points now or PSG could soon overtake them for good. They will have to play with maturity on Sunday, get back to their philosophy of playing for each other and get their efficiency back, offensively and defensively.
But they will have to be very careful too because their opponent, Montpellier, are doing very well at the moment. Rolland Courbis’ team is 6th in the table with a game in hand. They have lost only one of their last ten league games, against Lille at home where they had plenty of chances to win it. They are one of the most in-form teams of the moment in Ligue 1 and the Stade de la Mosson is always a difficult place to go.
Montpellier have the 5th best home record in the league. They play in a flat 4-4-2 formation but have a big work ethic and work hard. They also have Anthony Mounier on the left wing, who is one of the best Ligue 1 players at the moment. He has scored six goals and given five assists so far this season. It will be a special game for him as he will be facing his former club who gave him his debut in Ligue 1. Montpellier play with a lot of intensity, especially at home and it will be a tough game for Lyon. I expect them to drop two points and only go home with a draw.
The odds are quite even with a Lyon away win at 2.55. A draw is at 3.15 and a Montpellier home win is at 2.85.
Alexandre Lacazette is favourite to score first at 4.40. My best tip is a draw and both teams to score at 4.50.
Score prediction: Montpellier 1 Lyon 1 at 6.40