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Montpellier Match Preview

Morning to you all, as the squad are gearing up for an exciting match against Giroud’s former club. I’ll skip all the niceties and get right down to business, here are my thoughts and predictions before the match.

After today’s team news, and a reality check, I’ve come up with this formation, which is mostly unchanged from our match against Southampton. What we need in this team is continuity, and despite what I said in yesterday’s post, changing the lineup as little as possible is what’s best for the team right now.

Wojciech Szczesny is injured again after Southampton, the man just has no luck at the moment. What’s worse is that it was entirely preventable.

“I don’t think [his injury was a factor in Saturday’s performance]. He did it before the game. I am not sure how it affected the goal he conceded. He says not but of course we had a question in our minds before the game: do we change him or not? We decided to leave him on.”

Abou Diaby slots back into midfield alongside Mikel Arteta, which gives us stability as well as variety in our midfield. Diaby will again look to dominate the middle of the pitch, with his physical presence, good tackling ability, and gut busting charges forward into the opposition’s box.

Gervinho earns a starting spot in my book, after a wonderful performance on Saturday. Don’t be surprised to see him play closer to Giroud, almost as a second striker. A CF position is where Gervinho thrives, so Podolski will have his work cut out to get to the by line and put crosses to the back post for Giroud to head on goal. Podolski will have a tough game going up against Mapou Yanga M’Biwa, a player we were linked with in the final straits of the transfer window.

If you don’t know much about Montpellier, here’s a quick snapshot of their style.

[WhoScored]

The team needs to get off to a quick start if they want to win this game. Montpellier are at home, and are considered the underdogs of this matchup. They’ll be out to prove a point, despite their bad form (they’ve only won one match of their last six) The two most dangerous players are Younès Belhanda, a midfield maestro, and John Utaka, a quick, tricky striker turned winger. However, John Utaka is a serious doubt for the game after suffering an injury recently playing in Ligue 1 with Montpellier.

Should we stick to our roots and not force anything that simply doesn’t have a chance of working, we should be fine. Keeping our concentration is paramount, especially after a huge win this weekend. Everyone needs to be sharp, and be careful not to underestimate Montpellier. We all know how dangerous complacency is.

More tomorrow.

Anders

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