Valenciennes manager Daniel Sanchez still expects a tough challenge from defending champions Montpellier in tomorrow's Ligue 1 clash despite their poor start to the season.
Montpellier are currently 14th in the overall standings and two points above the relegation zone, some way behind Sanchez's side who are only two points off leaders Paris St Germain in fifth place.
Last season, Montpellier claimed the Ligue 1 title for the first time in their history thanks in great part to striker Olivier Giroud, who finished with 21 goals and nine assists to become the league's top scorer.
Giroud has since left and joined Barclays Premier League side Arsenal, but Sanchez still believes Montpellier have the quality to cause problems.
``Montpellier are less successful than last year. This season they may have less points, but overall it's still the same team, without Olivier Giroud,'' Sanchez told www.va-fc.com.
``(Midfielder) Younes Belhanda might be absent for the game (through suspension), but I do not rely on the opponents that could be missing, I rely on my team. The absent player will be replaced by one that will certainly be motivated.''
Valenciennes are still unbeaten at home this season and defender David Ducourtioux knows the Stade du Hainaut crowd will be spoiling to maintain that run.
He said: ``This is a home game. We know there is the expectation that creates around us. It's going pretty well at home now.
``If we were to win 1-0 against Montpellier, I think the public would be very satisfied.''
Montpellier coach Rene Girard knows he faces a tricky task to extend his side's three-game unbeaten run at the home of one of the league's in-form sides.
``This is the team of the moment,'' Girard told www.mhscfoot.com. ``This is a unit that runs well and has the best attack including the championship. It is solid, high-level, so I expect a very difficult game.
``We'll have to go there and be very solid.''