France Ligue 1 – Angers v Lorient Preview (3/12/16)

Angers preview

  • Losing 2-0 away at PSG in midweek was no disgrace. Angers were competitive enough in that fixture, as expected. They are hard to break down and rarely get blown out by anyone.
  • However, it’s now just 1 win in 6 for the western outfit. They are in ok form, but nothing special.
  • Squad condition is good, although the loss of centre back Ismael Traore to injury is a major blow. Everyone else is available apart from winger Billy Ketkeo, who is out long term.

Lorient preview

  • Les Merlus picked up their first win in eight games in midweek thanks to a great 2-1 victory against local rivals Rennes. It’s a crucial first win for new coach Bernard Casoni.
  • A similar squad is maintained and they have few injuries to worry about. Goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte is ruled out but backup Paul Delecroix did a very good job in midweek, playing a key part in their win thanks to a string of good saves.
  • Lorient have a horrible away record which they must improve on. Their record reads 0-1-6 although the one draw did come last time out at Metz (3-3), a match in which they blew a 3-1 lead.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Angers are a tough side to predict and are capable of blowing hot or cold. They don’t tend to score many goals but should be confident enough facing a Lorient defence which has looked shaky all season.
  • On the face of things the hosts should have a good chance of winning. Don’t underestimate Lorient after winning in midweek though, the whole mood in the camp is sure to have improved.
  • The two bets that tempt me are Angers -0.25 and over 2.25. However, I don’t trust Angers enough to back either. They have a knack of missing too many chances and their matches are too close to call.
  • Couple that with Lorient improving and this is probably a match worth swerving. I have a feeling something strange might happen, but the most logical outcome is a home win and an over 2.5 match.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bet: None