This will be Arsenal's 15th consecutive appearance in The UEFA Champions League and they are unbeaten in their last eight opening game encounters in the Champions League group stage. The last defeat came all the way back in 2003 at Highbury, courtesy of Inter Milan with a 3-0 victory. As well as boasting a rather impressive record, Arsenal have never lost an away game in France, returning victorious from five of their nine visits. As it stands, things do not look good for Montpellier!
The French club are making their first appearance in the Champions League and would be glad just to progress through to the knockout round. Having being drawn in a group that also features Arsenal and FC Schalke, their relatively small and inexperienced squad will be stretched to the limit, if they are to field strong teams in Europe as well as domestically. Although Montpellier can look to the fact that Arsenal have failed to keep a clean sheet in 19 of there 20 last Champions League games.
have never lost an away game in France, returning victorious from
five of their nine visits. Out of the 5 wins, Arsenal have won three of them 1-0.
Players To Watch:
Younes Belhanda – Montpellier
The Morocco international has been a great asset for the reigning French champions over the last couple of years. Montpellier will look to the midfielder to make things happen against Arsene Wenger’s side.
The 22-year-old is a talented player who can torment the opponents on his day. If given space and time, the youngster could really hurt Arsenal’s chances of getting all three points from their opening game of the campaign.
Olivier Giroud – Arsenal
The France international was scoring goals for pleasure for Montpellier last season but has failed to find the back of the net in Arsenal colours so far.
However, the 25-year-old would see a trip back to his former side as a perfect stage to score his first Arsenal goal.
Montpellier current form:
Draw – Lose – Lose – Win – Lose
Arsenal current form:
Draw – Draw – Win – Win
Arsenal Probable line-up:
Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertersacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Diaby, Cazorla, Arteta, Chamberlain, Gervinho, Podolski
Montpellier Probable line-up:
Jourden, Bocaly, Yanga-Mbiwa, Hilton, Bedimo, Utaka, Cabella, Belhanda, Estrada, Ait-Fana, Herrera