Bordeaux v Montpellier – Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux at 19:00 GMT +1

Bordeaux boss Paolo Sousa admitted his team were second-best when going down 3-1 to Angers on the opening weekend of the new Ligue 1 season. Les Girondins made a dream start to the campaign, scoring inside the opening 10 minutes thanks to new signing Nicolas De Préville’s stunning free-kick.

Sousa was looking to work new faces such as South Korean forward Eui-Jo Hwang and Mozambique defender Mexer into his XI as Bordeaux looked to wipe away miserable memories of 2018/19. The Garonne club ended last term with seven defeats in their final and those vulnerabilities soon came flooding back.

Les Girondins folded in the 15 minutes before half-time, entering the interval 3-1 down. Bordeaux rarely looked like clawing their way back into the contest thereafter and Sousa said, “Angers were better than us in every department. What worries me most is that after we started well we weren’t able to play and keep the ball.”

Supporters were quick to criticise the club’s performance and fans’ frustration is understandable after Bordeaux endured a forgettable last season. Les Girondins collected the third-fewest points in the second half of the campaign (W4-D4-L11) to end in 14th with Sousa the third of three coaches to try his hand.

The 2009 champions struggled in attack throughout and often seemed unable to stem the flow in defence. Performance data marked Bordeaux out as the division’s fourth worst and the squad at Sousa’s disposal is undoubtedly weaker on paper with young defender Jules Kounde joining Lukas Lerager at the exit.

Montpellier can avoid defeat

Montpellier opened their account with a disappointing 1-0 home defeat against Rennes with star striker Andy Delort seeing a penalty saved. La Paillade fired in 19 efforts at goal and generated 2.50 Expected Goals (xG) with head coach Michel Der Zakarian bemoaning his side’s lack of clinical edge post-match.

Nevertheless, Montpellier are often functional rather than flashy, preferring organisation and defensive structure to attacking flair in a gritty 3-5-2 formation. The process employed by La Paillade ensures they’re always competitive with only PSG and Lille giving up a greater xG figure last season.

Delort and strike partner Gaeten Laborde can normally be relied upon in the final third and with Der Zakarian’s group suffering only nine defeats in 2018/19, it makes sense to support the visitors with a +0.25 start here at 1.70. Just three of losses arrived by a margin of two goals or more, whilst this selection made money in 21 of Montpellier’s 24 encounters with teams in ninth and below.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation:  Montpellier +0.25 at 1.700

Preview by: @MarkOHaire.

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