Montpellier v Reims – Stade de la Mosson at 14:00 GMT live at BT Sport
Montpellier are sitting in a lofty sixth-place as we head into the final third of the Ligue 1 side. Michel Der Zakarian’s men have suffered only four defeats across the campaign with La Pallade’s plight characterised by boasting the division’s second-best defensive record behind PSG.
Last weekend Montpellier picked up a well-deserved goalless draw at high-flying Lille – their sixth stalemate in eight outings – although a return to their Stade de la Mosson base should encourage the hosts having been beaten just once on home soil since the opening weekend.
La Liga Player Analysis: Real Madrid’s youngster Sergio Reguilon.
La Pallade’s summer signings settled into Der Zakarian’s system seamlessly, enabling Montpellier to put in a series of strong and stable performances early on. Damien Le Tallec’s presence in midfield has given Ellyes Skhiri more freedom and Florent Mollet’s creativity has fuelled the physical dynamism of Andy Delort and Gaetan Laborde.
They have all impressed at various points in their careers, but their work-rate and talent has perhaps never been used as effectively as by Der Zakarian this term. Montpellier are a mightily tough team to overcome and it’s a remarkable turnaround for a club that narrowly avoiding the drop in 2016/17.
Defensively stubborn hosts
Those aforementioned summer tweaks appear to have done the trick for La Pallade, who remain as defensively stubborn as ever – giving up the third-fewest quality opportunities per-game in Ligue 1. The hosts have recorded 10 (42%) shutouts already and another could be on the cards against cautious Reims.
Reims were runaway champions in Ligue 2 last term with their success largely built upon an excellent defence as they conceded only 29 times in their 38 matches. Stade have continued their well-organised under David Guion since promotion with the Champagne side silencing 11 (44%) opponents already.
Guion’s group have only been beaten five times – only being beaten twice since September – highlighting their own efficiency. So with two dominant defences on top, it makes sense to support a low-scoring match-up on Sunday.
Collectively, the pair are averaging only 1.94 goals per-game with Under 2.5 Goals backers being paid out in 34/49 (69%) combined matches – 18 (37%) also fell below the 1.5 goals line, suggesting there’s room to support Under 2.25 Goals at 1.70 quotes here.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Under 2.25 goals at 1.700
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
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