first team / OL - MHSC

Seize the opportunity...

Published on the 18 October 2014 à 20:02 by R.B

Back in Ligue 1 action after the international break... OL are undefeated in five matches and take on a Montpellier side that have the same number of points on the ladder and also boast the best defence in the league… Lyon are surprise hosts and are looking for more home cheer...

Maxime Gonalons and Co. finished the second chapter of the season on a high after an excellent run of results. 11 points from a possible 15 with 3 wins and 2 draws. Or, in other words, 2.2 points per game, a rhythm that will see them finish in the top three, no doubt! Obviously the return from injury of certain, the emergence from the likes of Fékir and Njie and the performances of the more experienced players have played a very positive role in this dynamic.

MHSC have shown a very different face to the one of last season, sabotaged by a disastrous start to the campaign that cost coach Jean Fernandez his job (15 points in 16 games). Les Héraultais, under Courbis, got out of trouble… But Stambouli, Cabella and Niang have left… Barios, Lasne, Bérigaud have arrived. This Montpellier is also different in terms of results, the way it plays and the way it adapts to match situations… And are also a lot more solid with just 5 goals conceded (never more than one goal a game), and have the best defence in the land along with Lille. Now they need to start scoring! They've only managed eight. Surely not enough for Louis Nicollin's club to maintain their current run. The squad features few stars but has solid players, such as Mounier, Hilton, Sanson, Jourdren, El-Kaoutari…

What will be the impact of the venue switch from Montpellier's home to Lyon's Stade de Gerland? OL now have three home games in a row: LOSC, MHSC… and OM. History suggest it's never easy to claim three wins from three at home... But perhaps this OL side can turn the stats on their head? It would appear they have the potential, on the strength of their last few outings. Excluding any last minute niggles and the condition of the club's returning internationals, Hubert Fournier should have plenty of choice across the pitch, knowing that until the next international break, OL will play one game a week for four weeks. Not the same demands as the other big clubs. They have the possibility to recover well and prepare well.

The aim is to maintain the cadence. To maintain the confidence and keep climbing the ladder... But no-one is getting carried away. The team is taking them one match at a time, just like that leading side from Marseille. But this third chapter of the season could bring its fair share of rewards...

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