Sunderland play Montpellier HSC in their penultimate game of pre-season and their final game on their tour of France. David Moyes' side have won all four pre-season games so far and will look to make it five out of five Saturday afternoon.
With Montpellier being arguably the toughest test of the Black Cats’ pre-season so far, just who are the French side? The club was initially founded in 1919. The side play in Navy and Orange colours and play their football in France’s top tier; Ligue 1.
They play their home matches at the Stade de la Mosson, which has a capacity of 32,900, located within the city of Montpellier. The first team is managed by former footballer Rolland Courbis, and captained by Brazilian defender Vitorino Hilton.
The club’s recent history
Montpellier finished just below mid-table last campaign. They won 14 games, lost 17 and drew seven. The club won Ligue 1 in the 2011/12 season. Montpellier’s only other club trophies to date include winning the Coupe de France in 1929 as well as in 1990, and the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1999.
Montpellier have played three pre-season games so far, winning two and losing 3-0 last time out to fellow French side Toulouse. Montpellier kick off their 2016/17 season the same day as the Black Cats on August 13, at home to Angers SCO.
Sunderland’s professional pre-season preparations
The Black Cats have had a successful pre-season campaign, with the whole setup being excellent in comparison to last year’s dismal trip across the pond. The importance of building momentum and confidence for the new Premier League campaign has been highlighted by Sunderland fans, as has starting the new season in a positive manner which can only be achieved with confidence and momentum.
Moyes’ side will play Montpellier Saturday afternoon and then look to the final game of pre-season against Borussia Dortmund, who have made some brilliant signings over the summer transfer window. Sunderland kick off their new campaign on August 13 against Manchester City at the Etihad stadium.