It’s a mid-table battle in Ligue 1 for this game, with Montpellier sitting 13th on 33 points, whilst their opponents Clermont Foot are sitting just one point and one place above them, despite their current form being a lot worse than Montpellier’s, who, along with Stade Reims, are the most in-form team in Ligue 1 over the past five games.
Montpellier are in the best form of their season, coinciding with the appointment of former Clermont Foot manager Michel Der Zakarian, winning four and drawing once in his five games so far in his tenure, which is very impressive as Montpellier only managed six wins in the 22 league games before Der Zakarian’s appointment.
The defensive improvement under Der Zakarian has been immense, conceding just one goal in his five games compared to 15 in the six games before his appointment and the four clean sheets he has kept as manager are as many as Montpellier managed all season.
Attacking midfielder Teji Savanier has been the main man for Montpellier for a few season now and he has found his form again under Der Zakarian, scoring three goal and assisting once in four games under his new boss, with the game he missed due to suspension was the only game in this run where Montpellier failed to win.
It’s the worst time in the season for Clermont Foot to be facing an in-form Montpellier side as they have only managed just one win in their last eight matches in Ligue 1, including a 4-0 loss in their previous outing against Lens, with Lois Openda scoring a five minute hattrick against them.
Before this run, Clermont Foot managed to score in all but three games in Ligue 1, but in their last eight games they have only managed two goals and have blanked six times, which has dropped them from 8th in the league to 12th, but their early season form means they have a comfortable, for now, 11 point gap to the relegation zone.
The away form of Clermont Foot will give their fans some hope for this game, with them holding the 6th-best away record in Ligue 1 this season and are massively better in all departments on the road compared to at the Stade Gabriel Montpied.
In 14 games at home, Clermont Foot have picked up 15 points from 14 games, scoring 11 goals and conceding 25, whilst away they have picked up 19 points in 13 games, scoring 15 and conceding just 13.
Their three meetings in Ligue 1 since Clermont Foot got promoted last season have been split evenly, with Montpellier winning their first meeting 1-0, Clermont Foot taking their second meeting 2-1 and they drew 1-1 earlier this season, despite Clermont Foot controlling the game and creating the much better chances.
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