Saturday, 8 April 2017

Caen - Montpellier

PICK: Montpellier AH 0 @2,16 PINNACLE 3/10

Today at 20:00 on Stade Michel d'Ornano in Caen, will see a clash of two teams "down there" on the table. Caen has 32 points, while Montpellier has only one point more and teams are currently sitting on 16th and 15th position, with just 4-5 points more than 18th placed Nancy.

As I have said on last week, Caen is among the worst teams in the league when it comes to football, and I think that except their fans, no one would extremely miss them in Ligue 1. They are kind of "English" team, who likes to play in air, who is strong in aerial duels, and who is mainly dangerous through crosses on their big men Santini and Rodelin. Those two players scored 19 of 31 goals for Caen, while 3rd best striker is young Karamoh with 5 goals, who's height is also 185cm. Path of their gameplay is clear, so preparing on them is not as tough as it could be against a team, who could be dangerous from 3, 4 or 5 different aspects of the game. Garande will miss important defender Da Silva who is suspended, while midfielders Malbranque, Leborgne and Makengo are still on the injury list as well as forwards Bazile (2 goals, 4th best scorer of the team) and Louis.

What the hell is Montpellier doing down there? With just 5 points above the relegation zone? Well, it's not hard to found yourself down there if difference between 8th and 18th place was less than 10 points few weeks ago. A run of bad results (4 defeats and 1 draw in last 5 matches) is totally enough to bring you down... If they are "planning" to extend this run, they might finish even lower, but I still think that they possess too much of quality to be in relegation problems. With Boudebouz in team, their offensive part of the team is not under the question as they scored 43 goals (for example Bastia and Nancy scored 44 together). Problematic part of the team is defending part, as team allowed opponents to score 55 goals in 31 matches. It's true that they conceded lot of them against teams such as Monaco (8), Lyon (5), Marseille (5), Bordeaux (5), and Caen cannot compare with them, but 55 is a lot in any case. Gasset who is without Ninga, Ligali and Mongongu for a while, has no new injury or suspension concerns, said on press conference that boys will need to be a men and to show the balls on the pitch. Key player of the team Boudebouz agreed with the coach and added that they were playing with fire long enough. I think that they are still struggling because of Sanson, who moved to Marseille. He was important midfielder and without him, Sessegnon is dropped too deep. I expect to see Sylla and Skhiri in defensive roles in midfield today, which will give more freedom to Sessegnon. Anyway.. Remember that this is still the team who won against PSG with 3-0! 

From my point of view, there is big difference in quality between those two teams and they shouldn't be together on league table. Montpellier is one of the teams who is strong in aerial duels, and that's why I think that Caen will struggle as they are counting on those crosses too much. With Mounie, Montpellier has target man for crosses as well, but the player who will make a difference in this match will be Boudebouz. Even if match will be totally 50/50, Algerian is capable to score from set-piece chances, or to make one assist out from nothing. Montpellier had problems lately with closing holes in defence, as teams who prefers to play through balls were coming to chances to easily, but again.. Caen is not among the teams who would be especially dangerous from this element of football. Odds on Montpellier are far to high in my opinion.

FT: 0-2

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