Montpellier v Nantes Betting Tips: Things to come together for hosts
Ligue 1 returns this weekend and, of the five games taking place on Saturday, it is the fixture between Montpellier and Nantes at Stade de la Mosson which catches the eye. Four matches have now gone and it’s probably safe to say that neither have set the world alight just yet; however, one has created a far better impression than the other.
Montpellier may have won just one of their opening four matches in Ligue 1, but that’s not to say that they haven’t performed well. Michel Der Zakarian’s men, as they did last season, have begun the season playing an entertaining game; they often get on the front foot and try to attack their opponents. Such a style is quire refreshing and always good to witness, especially since they’re not a top side who’re blessed with vast quantities of expensive talent, though, they’re certainly not without threatening players. As you might expect, Saturday’s hosts do often pay the price defensively for attempting to play such an expansive game and this was indeed the case in their latest match which saw them go down 2-1 away at Dijon. Having said that, on their own patch, against a side who’ve looked weak going forward (and equally poor at the back), Montpellier have an excellent opportunity to implement their forward-thinking style to good effect.
From a betting point of view, Montpellier are very much the side to get behind here. Both ‘Montpellier to Win’ and ‘Montpellier to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ stand out at 13/10 and 8/5 respectively.
Punters really shouldn’t be put off by the fact that Montpellier have won just once, nor should they be discouraged by the absence of two Montpellier goals in a single game from their record so far this season. In each of their matches, Der Zakarian’s team have created plenty of chances and, though they’re yet to really find their scoring touch, it shouldn’t be long before the goals start going in. After all, a home match against a Nantes side who’ve looked weak so far is the perfect opportunity for things to come together as far as end-product is concerned. In their home matches in particular, La Paillade really have created a good impression, especially from an attacking point of view, while Nantes, in their away matches, have created anything but a positive impression at both ends of the pitch.
It could be argued that Montpellier, without Ryad Boudebouz and Stephane Mounie, who both left in the summer, have lost some of their attacking power. However, the early signs suggest that they should be just fine. Stephen Sessegnon, Jonathon Ikone and Isaac Mbenza are all capable of carving out chances, while summer signing Giovanni Sio, who notched nine goals for Rennes last season should thrive as a centre-forward in this system. Losing two big players is never a good thing, but Montpellier have acted well in the transfer market and are showing, with the chances that they’ve created, that goals aren’t likely to be far away.
Nantes may have won last time out, but their performances so far under new manager Claudio Ranieri have tended to be somewhat negative. Saturday’s visitors might not have the required personnel to implement Ranieri’s defensive style to best effect. They’ve also looked toothless going forward. Only four teams have managed less shots at goal than Nantes this season, while they’ve scored just one goal. A 0-0 draw against Lyon last time out could be construed as a good result, but they created little and were lucky not to lose. Additionally, we saw just how easy their are to pick apart in their previous away match against a Lille side who wasted no time in exploiting the deficiencies in the Nantes rear-guard. Given Montpellier’s style, it’s easy to see a similar outcome.
Quite simply, this is a massive opportunity for the hosts to announce themselves as having officially arrived. After all, scoring goals at Stade de la Mosson became commonplace for Montpellier last season and now is the time for them to start doing so this time around.
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