MX23RW : Sunday, April 18 01:36:58| >> :600:126429:126429:
Feb 28, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stade Jean Bouin
AngersAngers
2-2
LensLens
Diony (5'), Mangani (10' pen.)
FT(HT: 2-1)
Clauss (22'), Kalimuendo (90+2')

Preview: Angers vs. Lens - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Angers and Lens, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Angers take on Lens in Ligue 1 on Sunday, with the two sides separated by only five points in the top half of the table.

The home side won the reverse fixture 3-1 in Lens in November.


Match preview

Angers manager Stephane Moulin pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Despite performing above expectations for most of the campaign, Angers' form has dipped in recent weeks, picking up only eight points from their nine games played in this calendar year.

In the absence of their injured top goalscorer Stephane Bahoken, they have desperately struggled for goals, scoring only once in their last four league games.

However, Stephane Moulin's side have kept clean sheets in two of those games, including in a 0-0 draw at Strasbourg last weekend. Thierry Laurey's side had been picking up form of late, with Ludovic Ajorque and Habib Diallo both dangerous in attack, so a point was a respectable return for both sides in the end.

Moulin will be hoping his side can produce a similar performance to the one which helped his side to an impressive 3-1 win in Lens in November, which was at a time when his side were playing with greater freedom and confidence.

Lens head coach Franck Haise pictured in October 2020© Reuters

However, Lens have significantly picked up once again in recent weeks, remaining unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions to progress in the French Cup and climb to fifth in the table.

Having only been promoted last season, a Europa League qualification position would have been unthinkable for Franck Haise's side, but there is every chance they could achieve that feat if they remain as difficult to beat as they have been in recent weeks.

Haise's side secured an expected 2-1 victory at home to bottom-placed Dijon, with Seko Fofana and Simon Banza striking either side of half time to seal an invaluable three points. Lens were certainly helped on their way by Aboubakar Kamara, who is on loan at Dijon from Fulham, being sent off late on.

With four sides all two points behind Lens in the table, only a win at Angers will guarantee that they remain in the lofty position of fifth come the end of the weekend.

Angers Ligue 1 form: LWDLLD
Angers form (all competitions): WDLWLD

Lens Ligue 1 form: LWDDDW
Lens form (all competitions): WDDWDW


Team News

Angers will be without Enzo Ebosse and Jimmy Cabot due to knee injuries.

Bahoken and Rachid Alioui are thought to be close to returning to first-team action, but the visit of Lens may come a little too soon for them.

Lens are likely to travel to Angers without Ignatius Ganago due to a muscle injury, but otherwise Haise appears to have a clean bill of health to choose from.

Former Chelsea winger Gael Kakuta will be hoping to score his 10th league goal of the season, having been stuck on nine in his past three outings.

Angers possible starting lineup:
Bernardoni; Bamba, Traore, Thomas, Manceau; Amadou, Mangani; Coulibaly, Fulgini, Thioub; Diony

Lens possible starting lineup:
Leca; Gradit, Bade, Fortes; Clauss, Doucoure, Fofana, Haidara; Kakuta; Kalimuendo, Sotoca


SM words green background

We say: Angers 1-2 Lens

We can envisage Lens gaining revenge on their opponents by extending their unbeaten run with a marginal victory on Sunday.

With the likes of Kakuta in attack, the visitors appear to have a little more class and confidence going forward, although that could change if Bahoken returns from injury for Angers.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data


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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Lille332010354203470
2Paris Saint-GermainPSG32213871234866
3MonacoMonaco32205767382965
4Lyon321810463313264
5Lens32141085144752
6Marseille33141094641552
7Rennes33149104335851
8Montpellier HSCMontpellier331211105354-147
9Nice32127134142-143
10Metz32119123638-242
11Angers33118143450-1641
12Reims32913103838040
13Saint-EtienneSt Etienne32109133647-1139
14StrasbourgStrasbourg32106164150-936
15Bordeaux32106163545-1036
16Brest32106164455-1136
17Lorient3388174061-2132
18Nimes3286183159-2830
19NantesNantes32513143249-1728
20Dijon3229212056-3615

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