first team / OL - MHSC D-1

Full speed ahead!

Published on the 30 November 2012 à 20:00 by R.B

OL got right back on track with a stunning win Marseille... now on top of the Ligue 1 table, Vercoutre and his teammates need to stay wary as they take on a much-improved Montpellier...

Football never stops! One match is barely over and straight you need to start thinking about the next one. Even if you win comfortably, you have to get straight back to work without knowing whether you'll be able to reproduce the same kind of form. That's the life of football players... And that's the case for OL, who struck a huge blow at the Vélodrome on Wednesday night. And even if OL made their mark in hammering OM, they know that they need to back that result up.

 The opponents who come to Gerland on Saturday have had complicated start to the season even though they are the reigning French champions. Montpellier have learned the hard way that it's no mean feat to perform well in the league and Champions League. They also lost an exceptional striker in Olivier Giroud and are waiting for their three news players to settle in and reach their potential. The south-coast club have looked shaky, but since their defeat in Rennes in Week 9, they have taken nine points from five matches (two wins and three draws).

During the same period, they crashed out of Europe but they did win through to the semi-finals fo the Coupe de la Ligue. Things are going much better for Belhanda and co., notably with the fine form of the remarkable Rémy Cabella, who has been scoring goals as well as pulling the strings in midfield. You can also be pretty sure that former OL youth academy midfielder Anthony Mounier will be keen to make his mark in the stadium where he made his professional debut.

So OL will need to be wary of Montpellier, who can still hope for goos things this league season. Until now, OL has been in pretty good form at home, with the notable exception of the visit of Bordeaux. Other than that, OL have secured six wins in the league and two in the Europa League. With the league's best home attack (18 goals). Rémi Garde will have Gourcuff, out injured for the Marseille game, back in action.

It would be a surprise should Rémi Garde change the team that won so convincingly on Wednesday, with a notable contribution from the midfield pairing of Gonalons and Malbranque. It would be astonishing if he chose to rotate his squad when can easily do so on December 6 against Shmona in the Europa League, where OLhas already sewn up top spot in the group.

OL need to confirm their fine form both on the pitch and on the table. With a win over Montpellier, OL can hang onto top spot a week before travelling to in-form Saint-Etienne for what should be a particularly high-octane derby. Beautiful football? OL proved against OM that they can produce stunning play when they focus on their own game and not that of their opponents. And what a pleasure it was to watch. So, full speed ahead towards the winter break!

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