France Ligue 1 – St Etienne v Angers Preview (22/1/17)

St Etienne preview

  • Les Verts started the new year with a creditable 1-1 draw away against Lille. This wasn’t a bad result for them although they were largely second best.
  • First choice keeper Stephane Ruffier remains injured which is a big blow. He’s been one of the top performing keepers in Ligue 1 this season making a number of crucial saves.
  • The rest of the Sainte backline is at full strength though. The one exception is the absence of left back Cheikh MBengue who is on African Nations Cup duty.
  • A number of attackers like Beric, Tannane & Soderlund are all still injured though and Les Verts might lack some bite and ammunition going forwards.
  • Sainte have only lost once at home all season but have drawn half of their ten games, something which has been a bit of a hinderance.

Angers preview

  • A terrible run of form of just 1 win in 10 games has seen Angers drop to second bottom in the table. Five of their last seven games have resulted in defeat.
  • Squad condition very poor. Nearly a dozen players are either out injured, on international duty or missing the encounter for other reasons.
  • They are hit hardest in attack where a lack of options is hindering them really badly. A number of new players have recently signed for the club and Angers desperately need them to settle quickly.
  • A total of 7 out of 10 away defeats is hardly ideal and the western outfit have only scored five goals on their travels all season.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • Here we have a matchup between two of the big under sides in the division. However, when they both met at the end of November it surprisingly ended 2-1 to St Etienne.
  • Both sides started the new year with 1-1 draws. Angers are the side under more pressure though and suddenly find themselves locked in a relegation battle.
  • It’s difficult to see this game opening up. Both teams are missing key attackers and goalscoring opportunities could be few and far between. A crucial moment from a set piece or something could be the difference.
  • Nothing really interests me from a betting point of view. St Etienne are odds-on which looks a little too short. The goal line is between 1.75 and 2 which seems about fair.

Prediction: 0-0

Recommended bet: None

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