Montpellier vs Arsenal by DamirJ

Montpellier, French Champion is not entering Champions League group stage being in a good form. They are coming from a Championnat match on Friday evening when they lost away to Reims 3:1, newly promoted team. That was their third defeat in the season, along with one draw and one win - not enough for last season's champions.

They were very poor, especially in the first half-time which ended with a narrow 1:0 lead for hosts. Started playing better and equalized in 55th minute with a goal from Campbell, but another two defensive mistakes cost them of point(s). With only one win in first five rounds, of course the mood isn't good in the team, however Champions League is surely something else and they will start it with a new hope. Main strong striker Utaka overcome the injury problem and will be included in starting XI tonight, however one of the better players Giroud will be out for this game.

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Arsenal, on the other hand, seems to be in much better form than at the beginning of the season. They started the season with two goalless draw, completely out of their style, against Sunderland and Stoke. However, they quickly bounced back with much better performances against Liverpool (2:0 win on the road) and finally, last weekend they won at home over Southampton 6:1.

They did great in that game, winning already 4:1 at the half-time, clearly showing that they are ready for the start of the Champions League. Their coach Arsene Wenger was delighted with the win, but will not be able to sit on the bench this evening, due to his three matches suspension from last season in Champions League. The team has four consecutive victories on French soil in recent years and are surely looking for another good start this season. Minor blow for the guests is that their first two goalkeeping choices are out for this game, so Vito Mannone will have to take place between the posts, while youngster Shea will be on the bench. Rosicky, Frimpong and Sagna are still out, while midfielder Diaby is available again.

Montpellier is surely motivated to show that winning the title wasn't a coincidence for them last season and despite their bad start in the domestic league, they will surely try to do something here tonight. However, it seems that their defense is the biggest problem in the team, allowing very easy goals. Arsenal, on the other side, is surely looking for a win here and if they show similar football to what they did last weekend, they will be much closer to the victory. However, this game is expected to be open minded, with a few goals during the game. The English side is not to be trusted completely as they have inexperienced goalkeeper who could be under pressure following his previous Champions League game when he made huge mistakes against Olympiakos.

Bet: Over 2 goals @1.64 with Pinnacle Sports

 * Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.
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