Angers SCO hosts Saint-Etienne in round 20 of French Ligue 1. The match will be played on Wednesday, January 26th at Stade Raymond-Kopa (Angers)
Gerald Baticle’s team is ranked 12th in the Ligue 1 standings with 29 points. Angers SCO has seven victories, eight draws, and six defeats after 21 rounds. Since the beginning of December, the Black and Whites couldn’t gain victories in official matches. They had a 3-match losing streak: they left the French Cup after a defeat to Lina Montlery (0-2) and lost to Clermont (0-1) and Montpellier (4-1) in the championship. After that, Baticle’s team tied against Lorient in the away match (0-0). And on January 23, Angers SCO gained a long-awaited victory, beating Troyes at home (2-1). The Black and Whites converted two penalties through the efforts of Thomas Mangani.
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Saint-Étienne is in 20th position in the French Ligue 1 standings with 12 points after 21 matches. The club gained two victories and six draws and suffered 13 losses in the current championship. So far, the Greens look like obvious contenders for relegation from the elite division. Saint-Étienne is the worst team in the league, which lags eight points behind the saving 17th line. However, the Greens have a match in hand. In mid-December, the team’s management fired head coach Claude Puel. Pascal Dupraz was called to save Saint-Etienne from relegation, His new charges went through two stages of the French Cup, but they suffered three consecutive defeats in the national championship. Namely, the Greens lost to Nantes (0-1) and Lens (1-2), and on January 21, they were weaker than Lyon in the Derby Rhone-Alpes (1-0).
In the current Ligue 1 draw, Angers and Saint-Étienne competed in the match of the 11th round, which took place on the Greens’ pitch on October 23. That game ended in a 2-2 draw, and the home team leveled the score with the efforts of Mickael Nade in the 94th minute. Because of the African Cup of Nations, Angers and Saint-Etienne will not be able to field optimal lineups. Curiously, both clubs suffered the most losses in the attack, and this may negatively affect the production of the upcoming game. The Black and Whites have obvious problems with conversion: they scored only three goals in the last five official matches, and only one of them was open-play. In the last six games, Saint-Etienne was limited to one accurate shot against Lens. As for away stats, the Greens couldn’t score in three rounds in a row. Given such indicators, I think that at least one side won’t score in the upcoming game.