France : Ligue 2: Angers- Sochaux
Visitors are out of promotion contention now and have not won in four starts, failing to score in three ,goals have been a problem all season and they have scored the fewest of any top ten team. There is a chance that they will up their game a little for the televised fixture, but you do get the feeling that this is a team in end of season mode.
Angers are third with a two point advantage and also tonight's game in hand over Nancy with just two rounds left to play after this fixture, any two wins will secure promotion and that is a wonderful position to be in, but there is a catch ! Next weekend they travel across country to play Nancy who have a superior goal difference, so, failure to win this evening will hand the advantage, or at least a chance, to ASNL who would take the automatic spot with two wins.
A draw tonight will not overly change things, they would still need to avoid defeat next week to leave matters in their own hands and we have to expect them to go for it.
Sochaux are almost as strong on the road as they are at home and I did consider holding out for a bigger quote on Angers "in running", however, the hosts are 8-0-0 when leading at the half and have only won 3 of the other nine, the visitors have taken something from 9 of 14 road games when not trailing at the break, so are very tough to beat once they get a toehold in a match, Angers do not want that (obviously) and they will get increasingly nervous the longer this goes without a lead.
Hosts remain without 15 goal top scorer Jonathan Kodija , but he has had limited game time since early March and scored just once since the end of January, through which Angers are 7-3-3, which is 0.25 points per game more than they collected previously, so they have clearly been competitive in his absence. Coach Stéphane Moulin described his players as very intense and focused in training yesterday, there were a lot of supporters at the last two training sessions and their "fervour" hada noticeable impact apparently, lifting the squad and sessions.
Sochaux have added a couple of 19 year olds to the squad, the pair have just 76 minutes of first team experience between them, but coach Florian Tardieu said "they are going to bring the passion" which indicates both might well play this evening and they could have a very youthful midfield and they will line up against a talented and experienced group of midfielders on the other side of the pitch.
We should see a home win and given those stats, I suspect it is most likely, and would be better for nerves of all concerned, if it came along with an early goal, Angers-Angers 2.75-2.90 HT/FT double result general quote, alternative would be the half time home win on asian lines.
Angers : Butelle, Letellier - Angoula, Bouka-Moutou, Guillon, Pierre, Thomas - Ben Othman, Camara, Diers, Gomez, Mangani, Manceau, Ngando, N'Gosso, Pessalli - Ayari, Clémence.
Sochaux : Pelé, Camara - Gibaud, Faussurier, Vivian, Senzemba - Guerbert, Kharja, Tardieu, Habran, Ilaimaharitra, Daham - Butin, Toko Ekambi, Sao, Caceres.