Lille-Montpellier preview: Fonseca seeking reaction



Fonseca was furious with his players after they suffered a 1-0 defeat at bottom side Angers last weekend, and — with rivals Rennes and Monaco also both failing to win — they missed a great opportunity to cement their place in the top five and inch closer to European qualification.


The result — that came on the back of a five-game unbeaten run — left fifth-placed Lille just two points clear of Rennes in sixth, and Fonseca left his side in no doubt about what they have to do in the remaining eight league matches of the campaign.


“We lacked everything in our play, we didn’t do anything,” said the Portuguese tactician. “In the dressing room, I had some very tough words for them, I said what I thought. It’s our worst performance since I started coaching here. Now, we have to do more and talk less.”

WATCH: Lille slip up at Angers



“When you come to play the side bottom of the table, you have to put in 2000%,” said Remy Cabella, part of a LOSC team that gave Angers a first win in 22 top-flight games. “We’ve slipped up, we’d perhaps said to ourselves that we’d win every game till the end of the season. We had chances we should have taken in the first half. Angers scored perhaps because they wanted it more than us, and that’s not normal. We’re not going to give up, it sometimes happens that you mess things up.”


Ismaily and Edon Zhegrova could make their returns after recent injury problems, but Tiago Djalo and Adam Ounas are both unavailable as LOSC seek to stretch their unbeaten home record against Montpellier to 11 top-flight matches.


Not since August 2011 have the south-westerners triumphed in Lille, and coach Michel Der Zakarian is looking for his team to provide a reaction of their own following the end of their impressive seven-game unbeaten run with a 2-1 home loss to Toulouse last weekend.


WATCH: Montpellier lose to Toulouse



“It’s going to get our heads back in the right place. We had a good run, it’s now stopped. We have to get everyone back to work for the trip to Lille,” said goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte, who was beaten twice before Elye Wahi pulled a late goal back for the hosts, leaving them in 13th place 11 points clear of the bottom four.


“When you have runs like ours, you think it’s going to last until the end of the season. We have eight games left, we’re going to try and pick up the points we need to ensure survival. We didn’t play well, that happens. It’s up to us to get the points we need and go and get everything we can between now and the end of the season.”


Der Zakarian could have centre-back Kiki Kouyaté available after he missed the Toulouse match while Faitout Maouassa returned to training this week after a thigh injury, and the left-back could be included in the travelling squad. 


Probable teams

Lille: Chevalier; Diakité, Fonte (c), Alexsandro; Weah, André, Andre Gomes, Gudmundsson; Cabella, David, Bamba


Montpellier: Lecomte; Sacko, Jullien, Kouyaté (or Sakho), Sylla; Chotard, Ferri; Nordin, Savanier (c), Khazri; Wahi 


>> ONE TO WATCH: Montpellier’s Elye Wahi

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