Montpellier OL Lyon Memphis Depay Pedro Mendes

Memphis' OL face stiff Montpellier test

Publish on 15/09/2020 at 09:00


Memphis Depay will be out to recapture his Round 1 form as OL, who could only draw 0-0 with Bordeaux on Friday, travel south to take on a Montpellier side fresh from a comprehensive 3-1 win over high-flying Nice.

Ligue 1 Uber Eats Round 1

Montpellier Hérault SC - Olympique Lyonnais

- Kick-off at 21:00 CET

Initially scheduled for the opening weekend of the season, this fixture was postponed due to Lyon's incredible run to the Champions League semi-final and sees Montpellier with the momentum as they play host to Rudi Garcia's charges on Tuesday night. It was an impressive performance from Michel Der Zakarian's men as they bounced back from defeat in Round 2 (2-1 in Rennes) to clip clipped Nice's wings with a double from stopper Daniel Congré and a superb strike from in-form hit-man Gaëtan Laborde.

However, it is Lyon - with a big 4-1 Memphis Depay-powered win over Dijon in Round 2 and a draw to their names - who can go top of the table on goal difference with a victory at the Stade de la Mosson. Nonetheless, Garcia is not looking past La Paillade.

"We haven't had a lot of space in our last few games. We'll see what we'll find in Montpellier tomorrow but we watched them in Rennes and their last victory," said the OL boss, tipped to start a Houssem Aouar ready to go after a brush with COVID-19. "It is rather a team that waits, that has quality to hit you with. Above all they are a valiant team, the first to the ball, who put a lot of intensity into the challenge. But we want to be first in the standings tomorrow night."

Aouar's inclusion would likely precipitate a return from a 3-5-2 formation to a 4-3-3, with the fit-again France midfielder to slot in alongside the in-form duo of Bruno Guimaraes and Maxence Caqueret, whose fellow youth academy graduate Rayan Cherki is tipped to replace Karl Toko Ekambi in a front three alongside Moussa Dembélé and Memphis Depay.

Der Zakarian: 'Find a way to push them around'

Der Zakarian, meanwhile, is tipped to stick to the 3-4-1-2 formation that saw playmaker Téji Savanier run the show against Nice, working his magic behind the potent strike duo of Andy Delort and Laborde while Vitorino Hilton marshals Montpellier's miserly defence.

"Tomorrow is going to be a big game against one of league's big guns, who have with a great squad and great players. It's up to us to have a big match and to find a way to push them around athletically and technically," said a wary Der Zakarian who is nonetheless clearly buoyed by his side's recent victory. "To have won on Saturday against Nice is very important. It was a load off our shoulders and it allows us mentally to be ready to put in a huge effort. We're going to have to play as well as we did against Nice to get some attacking situations."

Probable teams

Montpellier Hérault SC: Omlin; Mendes, Congre, Hilton; Souquet, Chotard, Ferri, Oyongo; Savernier; Laborde, Delort

Olympique Lyonnais: Lopes; Dubois, Denayer, Marcelo, Bard; Aouar, Caqueret, Guimaraes; Cherki, Dembele, Depay