Stade de la Mosson
The middle of the Ligue 1 table, where two teams are separated by five points, will see a matchup on Saturday when Montpellier HSC hosts Nice at the Stade de la Mosson. There are still two rounds of league games remaining. The hosts, who are now in 12th place after a win their previous time out, are hoping to move up into the top eight, while Clermont Foot is currently only one point ahead of them.
Nice is now in ninth place, three spots ahead of Montpellier, who is currently in 12th. Even if Montpellier defeats their opponents this week, it's improbable that they will be able to surpass them this Sunday; yet, given their recent form, we could be in for an entertaining game.Get Your Sign-Up Bonus!
Montpellier enters the last month of the 2022–23 Ligue 1 season in generally good spirits after seeing an excellent improvement in performance under Michel Der Zakarian's new leadership.
Montpellier had just 20 points from their first 22 league games when the Armenian manager took over in mid-February. Since then, the team has turned the corner, putting up 27 more points in 14 games while winning eight games and losing just three.
The most recent of those losses occurred in a thrilling game earlier in May at Lyon, where they had led 4-1 thanks to four goals from Elye Wahi but came away empty-handed after Alexandre Lacazette scored four of his own. However, they would later benefit from a last-minute change in the score when Faitout Maouassa tied their subsequent game against Lorient at one goal apiece.
Last Saturday, Der Zakarian's team travelled to take on Nantes, a team in relegation trouble, and they came away with a convincing 3-0 victory. Jordan Ferri scored the game's first goal in the first half, and Arnaud Nordin and Falaye Sacko also scored in a commanding performance.
Montpellier has avoided the threat of relegation to France's second division thanks to their impressive rise in recent months. Currently sitting in 12th place with two games remaining and a five-point lead over the visitors in ninth place, Montpellier will look to maintain their hopes of moving up even further and possibly into the top half with what would be a 15th league victory.
Despite the fact that Elye Wahi, who has been a star in Ligue 1 this season with 17 goals and six assists, is returning, Montpellier will only make a few adjustments following their resounding success the last time out.
Montpellier's possible starting lineup:
Defenders: Sacko, Kouyate, Esteve, Sylla
Midfielders: Chotard, Ferri; Nordin, Savanier, Mavididi
Following two underwhelming outcomes in their most recent matches, Nice is looking to hang onto their top-half position. Didier Digard took over as Nice's manager after Lucien Favre was fired in early January when the team had 21 points from 17 league games. Les Aiglons has since improved the team's performance, scoring 31 points in 19 league games under Digard's leadership.
In the first 12 games of his tenure, they went undefeated, winning six games and drawing six more. After that, their form dipped as they dropped their next three games, but they recovered with victories over Troyes and sixth-placed Rennes, with goals from Gaetan Laborde and Terem Moffi in the latter's 2-1 loss. Because of such outcomes, Digard's team was able to regain eighth place, but they have since been unable to capitalize on that position and secure a top-half finish, having suffered losses at Strasbourg by a score of 2-0 and a goalless draw against Toulouse at home the previous time around.
Nice will be eager to resume their winning ways on Saturday in order to avoid sliding into the bottom half following a promising period under new management. Although they are currently in ninth position, Les Aiglons are only ahead of Lorient on goal differential and 11th-placed Reims by one point.
Due to injury, Nice will continue to be without winger Nicolas Pepe and midfielder Aaron Ramsey.
Nice's possible starting lineup:
Defenders: Atal, Todibo, Dante, Lotomba
Midfielders: Rosario, Boudaoui, Beka Beka
Strikers: Bouanani, Moffi, Laborde
Expert Betting Tips
It's difficult to predict the outcome of this game. On paper, Nice may appear to be the superior team, but Montpellier has been playing much better recently, especially when it comes to goal-scoring.
Nice will almost certainly need to play flawless defence in order to win this game given their recent scoring struggles, which have seen them score just four goals in their last seven games.
Given Montpellier's strong attacking play, we anticipate a home victory with goals from both teams.