Montpellier vs Arsenal - Champions League preview and team news
Tuesday 18 September 2012
Arsenal will be looking to build on their 6-1 weekend thrashing of Southampton by getting off to a flying start away to Montpellier in the UEFA Champions League tonight.
The Gunners are currently sitting pretty in 3rd position in the Barclays Premier League, two victories following an opening set of draws. And they will be looking to continue a run of form that has seen them qualify from their group every season for the past nine seasons.
Montpellier, surprise Ligue 1 winners last year, make their first forays into European football’s elite, and do so having sold striker Olivier Giroud to their group rivals in the Summer. The French side have appeared to suffer in the early season, gaining just one win in their opening five matches, and suffering three defeats.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hinted that the pressure on his former Montpellier man Giroud is too much ahead of their Champions League opener, and the forward may be rested. Questions over Theo Walcott’s future have again arisen after reports linking a failure to sign a new contract, to a reduced involvement in first team affairs.
Wenger will also wait on the fitness of midfielder Abou Diaby, who suffered a muscle injury on international duty with France, but will be without goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny with an ankle injury – Italian Vito Mannone will come in as replacement.
Montpellier will likely field Argentine striker Emanuel Herrara as the main striker, supported by a five man central midfield. Former Portsmouth attacker John Utaka will take up a position on the right of midfield.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Montpellier v Arsenal