Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday’s pre-season clash between Crystal Palace and Montpellier HSC, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
crystal palace will end their preparations for the season with a home game Montpellier HSC at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
The Eagles have won four of their eight preseason games this summer while the visitors are still awaiting their first win.
Crystal Palace head coach Patrick Viira will be excited to finally be working with his entire pro squad after enduring a disjointed pre-season so far this summer.
Vieira had just 10 veteran players on the club’s pre-season tour of Australia while the remaining first-team stars were preparing for the new season with an assistant coach Osian Roberts in England.
Palace’s last game Down Under last Friday saw them draw 1-1 with Premier League side Leeds United, with a goal by Jean Philippe Mateta abort Rodrigo‘s opener from the penalty spot.
Meanwhile, Roberts watched as his side secured a comfortable 3-0 away win at Queens Park Rangers the following day Wilfried Zah Star for the Eagles with two goals while Eberechi Eze was also on the score sheet.
The Eagles now have one last chance to impress Vieira when they take on Montpellier on home soil before welcoming London rivals Arsenal to Selhurst Park on August 5 for the opening game of the 2022/23 Premier League season.
After finishing 13th in Ligue 1 last season, Montpellier have had a disappointing pre-season so far this summer, losing all four warm-up games and conceding 10 goals in total.
La Paillade failed to score in their first three defeats by Rodez, Espanyol and Clermont, but against newly promoted Toulouse they found their form in front of goal despite losing 5-4 in a game of three 45-minute halves last weekend .
Olivier Dall’OglioThe team was 3-0 down after the first half hour before failing to score three goals in 10 minutes Ely Wahi, Wahbi Khazri and Arnaud Nordin – the latter two arriving from Saint-Etienne this summer – restored the hosts’ equalizer.
Stephy Mavididi put his name in the top 45 on the scorers list, but his strike fell on either side of two Toulouse goals, with Montpellier ultimately doomed to defeat in an entertaining contest.
Montpellier, who won the Ligue 1 title in 2011/12, are now preparing for one last warm-up game against Crystal Palace before the new French top flight begins with a home game against Troyes on 7 August.
Crystal Palace Pre-Season Form:
Montpellier HSC pre-season form:
With Crystal Palace manager Vieira now able to bring his entire squad together for one last friendly before the start of the new season, a strong side is expected to be named on Saturday, albeit with rotation during the game.
Zaha, who has scored four goals in his last two warm-up games, could be supported in attack by Mateta and Jordan Ayewwhile Odsonne Edouard, Christian Benteke and Luke Plange will also be hoping to get minutes under their belts.
Marc Guehi He is expected to keep his place at centre-back and start alongside in the back four Nathanial Clyne, Joachim Andersen and Tyrick Mitchellwho all started the last game Down Under.
Vieira will not be able to call a summer recruit Sam Johnstone who picked up a hamstring injury after joining from West Bromwich Albion, but the goalkeeper is hoping to return to training ahead of next week’s season opener. Vicente Guaita will therefore start between the posts this weekend.
As for Montpellier, the former Crystal Palace defender Mamadou Sakho is suffering from a hamstring injury and the centre-back is unlikely to be risked ahead of the new season.
Captain and key playmaker Teji Savanier He missed the last game with a hamstring problem but should be fit in time to face the Eagles, although a bench call is more likely than a start.
18-year-old Elye Wahi, who was the club’s top scorer with 10 Ligue 1 goals last season, could start alongside an experienced striker in attack Valere Germain.
Crystal Palace possible starting line-up:
Guaita; Clyne, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Doucoure, Milivojevic, Eze; Ayew, Mateta, Zaha
Montpellier HSC possible starting line-up:
Omlin; Sacko, Esteve, Cozza, Maouassa; Chortard, Ferri; Nordin, Khazri; Germain, Wahi
We say: Crystal Palace – HSC Montpellier 3:1
Montpellier will be desperate to change their fortunes before the start of the new season but they could struggle to keep away from Crystal Palace a side who have scored at least two goals in five of their eight friendlies this summer.
With the hosts expected to name a strong side, we can see Vieira’s men walk away with a win and finish their pre-season preparation on high.
For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, goal scores and more for this game, please click here.