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Dec 1, 2021 at 6pm UK
MetzMetz
1-3
MontpellierMontpellier HSC
de Preville (70')
Sarr (34'), Bronn (36')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Savanier (36'), Mavididi (45+1'), Wahi (48')
Mollet (72'), Ristic (83')

Preview: Metz vs. Montpellier HSC - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Metz vs. Montpellier HSC - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Ligue 1 clash between Metz and Montpellier HSC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

After winning for only the second time, this season, Metz can do something that they have yet to do in the 2021-22 Ligue 1 campaign, win at home, and they have a chance to do that on Wednesday, playing host to Montpellier HSC at Stade Saint-Symphorien.

Les Grenats are in 19th place following their 1-0 win versus Nice over the weekend, while La Paillade have dropped consecutive league fixtures after winning two in a row, losing 1-0 to Lyon on Sunday.


Match preview

Losing their opening three fixtures to begin their 2020-21 campaign was not good, but after 15 games this season, it has been much worse for Frederic Antonetti and his Metz side, who have only two wins thus far domestically and are in early relegation trouble.

Looking at the matches in which they have won, they seem to be following the famous saying that less is more, as they did not have more than 33% possession in each of their two triumphs, while only generating 10 shots total in both of those games, including this past weekend when they only had one targeted effort but were still able to get the better of Nice.

Coming into this match, they are unbeaten in their previous four league games, so there are some positives for them to take away heading into the final month of 2021, and one victory could move them out of the danger zone.

Besides their current form of positive results, another encouraging sign that this club could be heading in the right direction is how they have been able to defend in their third of the field, with two clean sheets in their previous three games, an area that has been an issue for them this year, conceding the third-most goals in the French top-flight so far (30).

They have not given their loyal fan base a lot to be happy about when playing in front of them, having failed to win their last 15 home fixtures in Ligue 1 at Stade Saint-Symphorien, with their last win coming at the beginning of this year versus Nantes.

In their previous three matches, they have used a rare 3-4-2-1 formation which has produced some positive results, thanks to the stamina and work rate of midfielders Kevin N'Doram and Fabien Centonze, who have done a great job of coming back and covering the open spaces that are available when you employ a back three.

For the first time all season, Montpellier find themselves on a losing streak, dropping back-to-back league contests for the first time since the 2020-21 campaign when they lost two straight in between April and May of this year.

They had twice as many shots as Lyon on Sunday (6-3) but could not convert their opportunities, failing to score in consecutive fixtures for the first time since February 2020.

Olivier Dall'Oglio took over this team having managed two other French clubs previously (Brest and Dijon) though he does not bring with him an imposing record, winning only 37% of his matches with Les Rouges and just over 29% with Les Pirates.

Since 2017-18 Montpellier have been relatively consistent, never getting too up or too down but always hovering right around the middle of the pack, just as they are right now in 11th with 19 points.

Their biggest issue a season ago was a lack of composure when put under pressure as they conceded 62 goals, which ranked in the top five in the league in 2020-21, but even with the veteran presence of former Liverpool and Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho, who signed with the club over the summer, they have not been very sharp away from home, conceding 15 of their 22 goals this year on the road, including multiple goals in all but one encounter as the visitors.

Starting matches strong has been a significant problem for this side for a while now, scoring only two first-half goals in their previous 10 games, while six of their last seven goals conceded came in the opening half.

Metz Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • W

Metz form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

Montpellier HSC Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L



Team News

Fabien Centonze picked up his fourth goal of the campaign for Metz on Saturday, moving him beyond Nicolas de Preville for first on the team thanks to a nice set-up from the former Reims and Bordeaux striker, who collected his first assist with his new club on that play.

Sikou Niakate is still dealing with a muscular problem, while Matthieu Udol has a cruciate ligament rupture and will not be available for the foreseeable future.

Over the weekend, Jemerson was inserted at the back rather than the injured Niakate, Vincent Pajot started in a defensive midfield role over Pape Sarr and Opa Nguette got the call to play as an attacking midfielder, taking the place of the suspended Farid Boulaya, who was red-carded in their 3-3 draw with Bordeaux.

Jordan Ferri will miss this match for Montpellier after the 29-year-old received another caution in their defeat to Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday.

Florent Mollet has scored two of the last three goals for his team and leads them with four on the year, one more than Stephy Mavididi, Teji Savanier and veteran striker Valere Germain.

Jonas Omlin has faced 22 shots in his previous four Ligue 1 fixtures and has conceded seven goals over that stretch.

Metz possible starting lineup:
Oukidja; Jemerson, Kouyate, Bronn; Delaine, N'Doram, Sarr, Centonze; Traore, De Preville; Niane

Montpellier HSC possible starting lineup:
Omlin; Sambia, Cozza, Sakho, Ristic; Leroy; Gioacchini, Ferri, Mollet, Mavididi; Germain


We say: Metz 0-2 Montpellier HSC

Metz may be coming off a high note which is not the case for Montpellier, but they have been poor at home for a long time and have not beaten La Paillade in Metz in their previous three fixtures against them.

Losing consecutive matches is rare for Montpellier, and we do not expect that trend to continue, given the experience of this squad compared to their opponents on Wednesday.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:curl



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