May 18, 2013
Montpellier v Lille: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.7||1.4|
|Goals against *||0.7||1.3|
|Last 5 home||D-W-L-W-D||D-W-D-D-W|
|Last 5 away||L-L-L-L-L||D-L-W-W-W|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Montpellier | Lille|
Lille boss Rudi Gracia has demanded his side take maximum points at last season's Ligue 1 champions so they stay in the hunt for the final Champions League place.
Lyon currently occupy third, three points above Garcia's side but face a tough trip to Nice tomorrow night.
Nice are level on points with Lille, while St Etienne are also in the mix.
It means victory over Montpellier is a must ahead of next weekend's final game against Les Verts.
"On Saturday, we should go for a victory to give ourselves the best chance of competing in Europe,'' Garcia told reporters.
"Whatever happens at the Mosson, our last meeting against St Etienne will be decisive. Montpellier is a very good team.
"For now, we are fourth. It is up to us to stay there at a minimum. And if we can aim better, we will not say no.''
They come into the game off the back of a 3-0 win over Reims, where Salomon Kalou bagged a brace and Dimitri Payet was on target.
But talk was of Garcia's goalkeeper Barel Mouko who pulled off a number of saves to deny Reims while making his first appearance of the season, filling in for the absent Steeve Elana.
With the first-choice available again, Garcia has a decision to make on whether to stick with the 34-year-old Mouko.
"I have not yet decided who will be our goalkeeper on Saturday,'' he added. "The presence of Barel (Mouko) against Reims was the story of a game.
"Since then, a week of training has gone on. I can only say that Steeve (Elana) really has a combative and determined spirit.''
Their opponents are stuck in mid-table and have little to play for, while five defeats from their last six matches suggests Lille will be big favourites.