Soccer France Ligue 1 Prediction
Lyon vs Montpellier - Match Preview
⚽ 7 May 2023 - 15:05 GMT +0
European football is not yet out of contention for Lyon after a 2-1 come-from-behind win at Strasbourg last weekend, but it would have done little to soothe the pain from losing 2-1 at home to top-three club Marseille in the prior round courtesy of a stoppage-time own goal. Regardless of that mistake, they can proudly boast the league’s second-best record in April matches (W4, L1), propelling them into May with some excellent form.
They’ll need to be at their best and take advantage of this meeting with Montpellier, currently the lowest-ranked of their five remaining opponents, but Lyon certainly cannot take this fixture for granted. Not only did they lose at home to Montpellier two seasons back despite a top-four finish, but their record this term when hosting clubs currently beneath them in the standings (W4, D5, L2) leaves a lot to be desired.
Furthermore, now is certainly not the time to come across a high-flying Montpellier after crucial wins at home to Rennes (1-0) and away to Monaco (4-0) have handed them a taste of upset victories. That speaks volumes about the professionalism of a side that has long appeared destined neither for European qualification nor relegation, though improving upon their 13th-place finish from last season would have been a major objective.
Prior to that win at Monaco, Montpellier had enjoyed just one Ligue 1 away victory against the 13 clubs with at least 40 points to their name at the end of the last round (D2, L6), so the challenge here will be to back it up with what they hope to be a sixth win ‘to nil’ from a period of ten total Ligue 1 away trips since Christmas.
📋 Players to watch: There could be no greater threat than Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, who has found the back of the net in ten of their 16 Ligue 1 home fixtures this season, including his side’s first goal seven times. Montpellier’s Elye Wahi scored prior to Lacazette in the reverse H2H, one of 11 Ligue 1 goalscoring appearances this season (W7, L4).
⚡ Hot streak: Lyon manager Laurent Blanc has won all nine clashes against Montpellier’s Michel Der Zakarian (eight for PSG v Nantes and one for Bordeaux v Nantes), with an aggregate score of 25-4.
Lyon vs Montpellier - Match Preview
⚽ 7 May 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Troyes manager Patrick Kisnorbo expressed his disappointment following their 1-0 defeat at home against Nice last weekend, admitting that his players lost “focus from the first minute.” The second-longest winless streak in their history (D4, L12) placed them one step closer to Ligue 2, with a ten-point gap to safety ahead of this round appearing insurmountable at this stage of the season.
The prospect of becoming the first coach to lead Troyes to a victory against PSG since 2001 (D3, L16 since) will undoubtedly fuel the drive of the first Australian to manage in one of Europe’s top-five leagues. To achieve this feat, it will be crucial for Troyes to regain high levels of concentration, especially in the later stages of the game, as they have lost more points after the 75th minute (11) than any other team this Ligue 1 season.
PSG's 3-1 loss to Lorient at Parc des Princes on Sunday not only narrowed their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table to five points following the end of the last round but also sparked a crisis within the club. In response to the situation, the PSG management has taken the decision to suspend Lionel Messi for two weeks after he travelled to Saudi Arabia without the club's approval the day after the defeat, despite a scheduled training session.
As PSG heads to Stade de l'Aube amid the drama, coach Christophe Galtier has encountered additional obstacles owing to the long-term injuries of Neymar and Nuno Mendes, as well as the suspension of Achraf Hakimi. But Galtier's men can draw confidence from their flawless record of winning all three away games against current bottom-four teams this season, with each match featuring exactly three goals.
📋 Players to watch: Troyes’ Rony Lopes will undoubtedly attract attention, having contributed to seven of his team's 16 home goals (G4, A3). PSG's Kylian Mbappé cherishes Troyes as it’s the team against whom he scored his maiden Ligue 1 goal in 2016 as a 17-year-old.
⚡ Hot streak: In each of PSG's Ligue 1 away matches this season (excluding one 0-0 draw), the team that scored first has gone on to win (W12, L3).
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