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Girard plays down Montpellier favouritism

By Football News



Rene Girard has rejected suggestions Montpellier will be favourites against Olympiacos when they meet in Group B of the Champions League.

Girard's side have one draw from two matches in the Champions League group stage but despite Olympiacos having lost both their games, Montpellier's coach remains wary of a team boasting a 100 percent record in the Greek Super League.

By contrast, Montpellier have only two victories from nine matches in Ligue 1, and Girard feels Olympiacos' experience in Europe could make a difference in Wednesday's game.

"When you look at the records of the two teams, Olympiacos is used to playing those games, to being in the group stage," Girard said.

"At best, playing at home is going to help us a bit.

"So I think that if there was a team favourite that would be Olympiacos."

Girard is suspended for the next two Champions League games, home and away against Olympiacos, after a heated exchange with Schalke head coach Huub Stevens in the competition earlier this month.

But the 58-year-old coach remains confident his staff and players are prepared to do the job without him.

"It's true that communicating with the players is important and I won't be able to be in the locker room at half-time nor right before the game, but I have good deputies who will be there to pass the message," Girard said.

"We've been working on this game for a long time.

"We've done our best to prepare this game but there are always unpredictable elements.

"So we are trying to do everything right before so that I don't have run down from the stands."

Olympiacos have scored in both their games so far, losing 2-1 at home against Schalke on the opening matchday before succumbing 3-1 away to Arsenal, and the Greek side's coach Leonardo Jardim has been happy enough with how his team has performed.

But the 38-year-old Portuguese knows Olympiacos must turn those peformances into points against Montpellier.

"We are satisfied with the way we played in the previous games," Jardim said.

"We have performed well against both Arsenal and Schalke.

"We need to keep playing that way but add a positive result this time."