Montpellier Vs. Lyon, 2012 Ligue 1, Week 20: A Massive Top-Four Clash

Olympique Lyonnais head coach Remi Garde looks on before the start of a match between Real Madrid CF and Olympique Lyonnais. Lyon faces Montpellier on January 14, 2012. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Montpellier and Lyon fight to stay in the title race and capture UEFA Champions League places when they do battle on Saturday.

Montpellier was stunned by Evian last week, but they can go top of the league again if things go their way elsewhere and they defeat Olympique Lyonnais. Lyon have had a very up-and-down season in both Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League, but they are still in a position to challenge for the league title and they have a forward line that can create goals at any time.

Though they are not a negative team by any stretch of the imagination, Montpellier have shown a keen ability to sit on leads and play for draws under manager Rene Girard. Though they were involved in a 4-2 goal-fest last week against Evian, expect this match to be a bit tighter and lower scoring. This will not be a negative low-scoring game, but an intelligent tactical low-scoring game. Unless I'm completely wrong and it isn't low-scoring at all.

Montpellier will lean heavily on striker and leading scorer Olivier Giroud with a number of their best players gone to the African Cup of Nations. Lyon will be without the suspended Mouhamadou Dabo, which could be a big blow considering the questionable health of their back line at present.

Montpellier vs. Lyon

Game Date/Time: Saturday, January 14, 3:00 p.m. ET, 9:00 p.m. local

Venue: Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier, France

TV/Online: FOXSoccer.tv (USA), Eurosport World (Canada)

For more on Les Gones, check out The Offside Olympique Lyonnais.

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