Montpellier vs. Marseille – Football Match Preview – December 3, 2017
Rudi Garcia has called for consistency as he bids to stop Marseille getting carried away with their strong start to the season.
OM have won nine and lost only two of their 15 Ligue 1 games, with their midweek win at Metz lifting them to second in the table after Lyon and Monaco both lost.
“At Metz, we just did our job but we are second because Monaco and Lyon lost,” Garcia told the club’s official website at a press conference to preview Sunday’s derby against Montpellier.
“Montpellier have only lost once in their last 10 games and last year we lost there because they took advantage of our errors.
“We need to keep our run going. Our consistency has put us in a good position and a third win in succession would help us stay up there.”
Marseille’s success has come despite a lack of goals from their strikers, with midfielders Florian Thauvin and Morgan Sanson leading their scoring chart.
But Garcia said: “I am not worried, (the strikers) are working hard in training and they have our confidence.
“If a striker does not score, even if you win 5-0, he is not content but the other players are scoring in part thanks to the efforts of the strikers.
“We have to stay solid at the back and score in each game. Montpellier are a difficult team to face – they have the best defensive record in the league but that was also true of Paris (St Germain) and Caen when we faced them.”
Seventh-placed Montpellier’s defensive solidity has been built on a back three, with summer signing Pedro Mendes playing a vital role.
“Whether it is with Daniel (Congre), Vito (Hilton) or Nordi (Mukiele), who has also played in the centre, everything works very well,” the Portuguese told mhscfoot.com.
“The club signed quite a lot of new players this summer. We did not all know each other that well at the start but little by little it has fallen into place and now everything is going well.”
Ahead of his first Mediterranean derby, Mendes is expecting a tough test against OM.
“(They are) a team with quality and hard to break down,” he said.
“But the pressure will be on them, not on us. Marseille have to beat us and it will be up to us to make their task difficult.”