Montpellier v PSG – Stade de la Mosson at 16:00 Live at BT Sport
Table-topping PSG takes their 100% record to Montpellier on Saturday but it’s probably no surprise to hear that Les Parisians have one eye focused on a crucial Champions League tie against Bayern Munich in midweek.
Unai Emery should welcome Marco Verratti straight back into the starting XI from suspension but the suggestion is, the ante-post favorites will rest and rotate their troops with Wednesday’s encounter in mind.
Trouble in Parisian paradise?
Whatever team the league leaders manage to field in Montpellier, we can be sure PSG will be strong. The visitors’ road record – 11 wins from 12 Ligue 1 games, scoring at least twice in 10 of their past 11 away days in domestic action – is hard to oppose but this tie might not be the walkover the market expects.
Last time out, Les Parisians made hard work of turning Lyon over on home soil. The first goal arrived after 75 minutes and the Neymar-Edison Cavani rift has suggested there might well be trouble in Paris, even at this early stage.
Obviously, Lyon is a level above Montpellier but the hosts should collect confidence from their impressive displays when welcoming the league’s elite last season. La Paillade may have concluded their campaign just three points above the drop zone but they did W3-D1-L2 when hosting the top-six.
The 2012 champions beat PSG, Marseille, and Bordeaux whilst holding Nice to a draw. Champions Monaco only escaped with a 2-1 triumph – all despite Montpellier boasting the division’s third-worst defense.
Montpellier to batten down the hatches
Over the summer, top goalscorer Steve Mounie departed and key playmaker Ryad Boudebouz also left the Stade de la Mosson but former Nantes boss Michael Der Zakarian arrived in the dugout and the defensively-minded head coach has quickly re-organized the team’s backline effectively.
In three Ligue 1 seasons in charge of Nantes between 2013/14 and 2015/16, Der Zakarian’s team’s matches averaged only 2.00 goals-per-game so it’s no great surprise to see four of his first six with Montpellier feature fewer than two goals.
Giovanni Sio’s suspension robs the hosts of another key attacking element although Stephane Sessegnon has been tipped to return here. Either way, I’m happy to oppose goals here despite an overriding feeling that PSG will prove too strong on Saturday.
We can back Under 3.5 Goals at 1.76 and that’s a selection that appears great value knowing the home side are likely to set-up for a damage limitation exercise.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Under 3.5 Goals at 1.76
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