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Arsenal vs. Montpellier Herault

Arsenal Stadium

21st November, 2012


On Sky

Arsenal v Montpellier Match Preview

Arsenal will be looking to take giant steps towards qualification from their group when winless Montpellier rock up in North London.

A win and an Olympiacos defeat tonight will ensure qualification. whilst the French side are already eliminated.

Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger expects to see no complacency from his side as they bid to qualify from their group, 'Not for a second would I think the team will be complacent- they will be full of desire to do well and win the game, I am certain of that.

'It is important on the back of the Tottenham game we show another good performance and a resolute attitude, that is at stake for me tomorrow. After, if we produce the quality performance, we will win the game.'

Meanwhile Rene Girard is well aware of the threat posed by former Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud, but suggests that may work to his side's advantage.

'Olivier worked very hard for us and we almost sculpted him into the player he is today. We made history at the club and had great times.

'Unfortunately for us, he is rediscovering his best form and starting to score goals, but we have tactics to try to stop him.

'We know how good he is, but there are also lots of attacking threats here at Arsenal.'

Arsenal Team News:

Arsenal have lost Theo Walcott to a shoulder injury and Andre Santos to an abdominal problem. But Gervinho (ankle) and Kieran Gibbs (thigh) return to the squad.

Abou Diaby (thigh), Tomas Rosicky (achilles), Lukasz Fabianski (ankle) are unavailable.

Arsenal (from): Szczesny, Mannone, Sagna, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Coquelin, Wilshere, Ramsey, S.Cazorla, Chamberlain, Gervinho, Arshavin, Podolski, Giroud, Chamakh.

Player to watch: Alex Oxlade Chamberlain

With Theo Walcott injured, it's likely to fall onto The Ox to replace him. Walcott has been incredibly effective in the last two games, but Chamberlain's injury time assist on Saturday suggests his qualities can be just as dangerous.

The team will have to reattune to having a more traditional winger on the right, as opposed to Walcott's explosive pace in behind.

Montpellier Herault Team News:

Montpellier are likely to be missing defender Cyril Jeunechamp as a result of internal disciplinary measures. Jeunechamp punched a L'Equipe journalist in the face on Saturday!

Senegalese striker Souleymane Camara misses the match through suspension, but Younese Belhanda returns from his ban.

John Utaka (thigh), defender Hilton (groin) and Karim Ait-Fana (knee) are not fit enough after their injuries, but defender Garry Bocaly should return from a hip problem.

Player to watch: Younes Belhalda

The jewel in Montpellier's crown. If the French side are to create anything, it will more than likely come via the quick feet and swift brain of Belhalda.

Match Facts & Stats

Arsenal have never defeated a French side at home in the Champions League. Marseilles, Auxerre. Racing Club de Lens and Olympique Lyonnais have all left North London with results.

Montpellier have only played a competitive game in England once. A 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in the 1991 Cup Winners' Cup.

Olivier Giroud faces his former club.

Ref Watch:

Fırat Aydınus from Turkey will officiate tonight's game.

Match Prediction:

I think this might be tougher than a lot of people think. I'm going with 2-1 to Arsenal. Podolski and Chamberlain for Arsenal, Belhalda for Montpellier.

Next Fixtures:

Arsenal finish their Group campaign in Athens against Olympiacos. Montpellier play at home to Schalke.

The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 21 2012

Time: 1:17PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
wot ! no insurance policy for this
Report Abuse
21/11/2012 14:22:00

A must-win game. I agree it will turn out to be a hard fought one, considering how well the opposition played in the reverse fixture. Victory is key to the surge in confidence the derby day win has had. Good Luck, boys!
Report Abuse
21/11/2012 17:36:00

This will be really tough - Montpellier are a good side who will be playing with no pressure. Hope OG follows the pattern of players scoring against their old clubs! Cyril Jeunechamp - what a name.
Report Abuse
21/11/2012 17:53:00

Jack scores! This is a period one would have liked to have Theo in the game, to feed off counter attacks. Montpellier will come all out for a goal of their own.
Report Abuse
21/11/2012 20:55:00

I would like to see more from the Ox though. He seems to be playing more from the middle, leaving much of the wing job to Sagna. Then, what's with the mis-placed passes?
Report Abuse
21/11/2012 20:58:00

What a strike by Poldi!! That's what I am talking about.
Report Abuse
21/11/2012 21:06:00

Poldi world class volley
Report Abuse
21/11/2012 21:31:00 have gone quiet all of a sudden. Who have the spuds got on Thursday? :)
Report Abuse
21/11/2012 21:34:00

A comfortable win, after a while :)
Report Abuse
21/11/2012 21:36:00

A clean sheet ! I like this.
Report Abuse
21/11/2012 22:05:00

That goal from Poldo was RvPesque!
Report Abuse
21/11/2012 23:28:00

As soon as I saw that Podolski goal I had flash baks to the RVP volley against Charlton
Report Abuse
22/11/2012 02:00:00

both assists were from Giroud, settling in nicely..theo and poldo should be happier to stay wide with his central a center forward, he's got it all.
Report Abuse
22/11/2012 05:23:00

You are so right, Amos & Gunnerfan. I found myself thinking I have seen that before. How opinions have changed about Giroud from his first few games for us. No player who scores 21 goals in the French league can be that bad. Every good player needs time to settle, especially when you have a hard act to follow. Arseniger, wondering if you've reconsidered your opinion.
Report Abuse
22/11/2012 06:00:00


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