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Jan 23, 2022 at 4.05pm UK at Stade de la Mosson
3 - 2
Wahi (13'), Mavididi (32', 90+1')
Mavididi (90+1'), Sambia (90+1')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Ben Yedder (34'), Vanderson (82')
Henrique (10'), Aguilar (65')

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

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

Seeking to avoid a third successive Ligue 1 defeat of the New Year, Montpellier HSC prepare to welcome Monaco to the Stade de la Mosson on Sunday afternoon.

Olivier Dall'Oglio's side went down 1-0 to newly-promoted Troyes in midweek, while the visitors - now under the tutelage of Philippe Clement - returned to winning ways with a 4-0 thumping of Clermont.

Match preview

After losing creator-in-chief Teji Savanier to a red card for a nasty stamp on Oualid El Hajjam - with the five-goal lynchpin now incurring a three-game ban - the writing was on the wall for a lacklustre Montpellier side during the visit of Troyes.

Dall'Oglio's 10 men ultimately succumbed to a sublime effort from Xavier Chavalerin as their dismal fortunes since the turn of the year continued, with La Paillade a far cry from their magnificent showings in December during that six-game winning streak in all competitions.

This week's hosts are rank outsiders when it comes to a European challenge, currently sitting ninth with 31 points to their name from 21 games this term, but fifth-placed Rennes are only three points clear of Montpellier in the tightly-packed top half.

With Savanier directly contributing to 11 of Montpellier's 34 Ligue 1 goals this term, La Paillade will need the likes of Stephy Mavididi and Florent Mollet to dust off their best shooting boots over the next few weeks, but the Stade de la Mosson has generally been kind to them this term.

Montpellier's tally of 20 points from a possible 33 at home this term is a better record than the likes of Lyon, Lille, Marseille and Nice can boast, but Monaco will be in no mood to see their momentum take a hit under the recently-appointed Clement.

Monaco certainly caught the eye last season under Niko Kovac, but Clement has immediately laid down a marker with the principality side, overseeing a romping 4-0 success over Clermont thanks to a particular super sub.

Les Monegasques looked a little flat in the final third before the half-time introduction of Wissam Ben Yedder, who proceeded to bag a brace for himself - one from the penalty spot - in between Sofiane Diop and Caio Henrique's efforts at the Stade Louis II.

Having returned to winning ways in the top flight in emphatic fashion, Monaco will aspire to see their charge for Champions League football truly kick into gear under former Club Brugge boss Clermont, and the sixth-placed Monegasques are now four points behind Marseille having played a game more.

However, Monaco do not exactly travel to Montpellier boasting the tag of away day specialists, with this week's visitors winning just one of their last six Ligue 1 games on the road, and even more alarmingly, they have failed to find the back of the net in five of those encounters.

Les Monegasques eased to a 3-1 win over Montpellier back in October, though, with that result representing their third win from four against La Paillade, who have only beaten Monaco once at home since 1996.

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

Montpellier HSC form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

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

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

Team News

As mentioned, Savanier will spend three games on the naughty step following his straight red against Troyes, but Elye Wahi's sending off against Strasbourg a few days before was overturned.

Ambroise Oyongo is preparing for the knockout rounds of the Africa Cup of Nations with Cameroon, while Pedro Mendes, Thibault Tamas and Maxime Esteve continue their spells out of action through injury.

With no Savanier in the fold, Mollet could potentially shift into a central role behind the returning Valere Germain, with Wahi shifting over to the right flank. Alternatively, Jordan Ferri could move further forward as Junior Sambia returns to the middle.

As for Monaco, Benoit Badiashile, Myron Boadu and Djibril Sidibe make up a trio of hamstring-related concerns for Clement, who will likely have to make do without all three men this weekend.

Aleksandr Golovin is still struggling with his abdominal issue and may also miss out, while Cesc Fabregas attempts to fight off a bout of illness and Krepin Diatta remains absent for the long-term with his ACL injury.

Ismail Jakobs was sacrificed at half time for Ben Yedder against Clermont, and the latter will expect to resume his prolific partnership with Kevin Volland from the first whistle here.

Montpellier HSC possible starting lineup:
Omlin; Souquet, Cozza, Sakho, Ristic; Ferri, Chotard; Wahi, Mollet, Mavididi; Germain

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Nubel; Aguilar, Disasi, Maripan, Henrique; Martins, Tchouameni, Fofana, Diop; Ben Yedder, Volland

We say: Montpellier HSC 0-2 Monaco

Montpellier's task has been made even harder this weekend as Savanier watches on from the sidelines, with Dall'Oglio's side being given a harsh reality check following their abundance of festive joy.

A home win versus a newly-promoted side may not be a perfect indicator of how Monaco will fare under Clement in the long term - especially given their barren run in front of goal away from home - but we still expect Clement's strong start to continue thanks to the deadly attacking duo.

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:data

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