MX23RW : Saturday, January 29 01:20:34| >> :600:574348:574348:
Jan 16, 2022 at 2pm UK at Stade du Moustoir

Abergel (53'), Jenz (68'), Laporte (69')

Ninga (56')
Doumbia (14')

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

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

After being a matter of minutes away from pulling off a massive upset in their final match of 2021, Lorient will face Angers in their first game of the New Year this Sunday from Stade du Moustoir in Brittany.

Le FCL are winless in 12 consecutive matches but were able to hold the Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain to a 1-1 draw back in December, while Les Scoistes have lost three of their last four encounters, ending the year with a 4-1 defeat against Montpellier HSC.

Match preview

Lorient manager Christophe Pelissier pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Just when it looked as though something good was coming the way of Les Merlus, some late drama once again spoiled the party for their home fans, who saw their side take the lead versus Les Parisiens in the 40th minute only to concede the equaliser in the 91st.

Not even the exclusions of PSG stars Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Marco Verratti, plus a late expulsion to Sergio Ramos, were enough to give the North-Western French side all three points as they crumbled late in that contest, squandering what could have been a valuable extra two points.

It was not the first time that this team had wasted a solid performance by making mistakes late in a match, having conceded six goals in their last four league fixtures at home, five of which came beyond the 75th minute of play.

A 25-day break is a long time to wait to play your next match, but it may be just what Christophe Pelissier needs to get his team refocused for the second half of the campaign as they battle to try to stave off relegation, sitting in 18th, a point back of Bordeaux and Troyes.

They come into this contest without a victory in six straight league fixtures played at home, the longest ongoing run of any side in the division, after they had won each of their previous seven domestic affairs in the seaport town.

While this side have created plenty of scoring opportunities in recent matches, Lorient are still missing a quality number nine who can bury those chances, scoring a league-low 15 goals thus far and failing to tally in two of their previous three home games.

Angers' Angelo Fulgini celebrates scoring their first goal on October 15, 2021© Reuters

Like Lorient, Angers have had to wait a while before returning to league play, which may not be a bad thing for Gerald Baticle, as his group ended last year on a sour note, losing three straight matches in all competitions.

Waiting 25 days might not be such a bad thing for them either as they seemed to be headed in a downward trajectory, putting together a dismal display at Montpellier (4-1) just a few days after they were ousted from the Coupe de France, losing 2-0 to Linas-Montlhery, a team currently in the fifth-tier of French football.

In their previous four games, Angers have suffered more defeats than they did in their opening 15 league fixtures, which has to be discouraging for a side that surprised many people with how well they began this campaign.

The results may be discouraging, but it has to be equally disappointing knowing that the teams they have struggled against are near the bottom of the table, suffering a recent defeat against Clermont and drawing Saint-Etienne.

While their last road fixture was not their finest moment, they have earned their share of positive results away from home, going unbeaten in four straight contests before that loss to Montpellier.

The good news is that this team have usually been able to pick themselves up after a setback, losing consecutive league fixtures only once so far in this campaign.

Lorient Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Lorient form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Angers Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Angers form (all competitions):
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Lorient's Armand Lauriente celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 10, 2021© Reuters

Pelissier has been criticised for not utilising the speed and skill of midfielder Enzo Le Fee earlier in the season, and the youngster played brilliantly in their previous match versus PSG, setting up the opening goal from Thomas Monconduit.

Dango Ouattara is with Burkina Faso for the Africa Cup of Nations, while Stephane Diarra is still suffering the effects of a thigh injury, Jeremy Morel has muscle issues and Fabien Lemoine might not be ready until later this month with a calf strain.

Their top goalscorer from a season ago, Terem Moffi, has struggled mightily throughout this campaign, finding the back of the net twice after scoring 14 in 2020-21.

Mathias Pereira Lage had the only goal for Angers in their lopsided defeat to La Paillade, while Paul Bernardoni had a forgettable outing in that game, conceding on four of the six shots that were fired his way.

Les Scoistes have four players currently on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations as Sofiane Boufal and Azzedine Ounahi are with the Morrocan national team, while Enzo Ebosse and Stephane Bahoken are representing Cameroon.

Romain Thomas and Mohamed-Ali Cho are unlikely to feature anytime soon with back injuries, while Billal Brahimi and Zinedine Ould Khaled could be fully recovered in a week or two from their thigh problems.

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Mendes, Laporte, Jenz, Le Goff; Boisgard, Monconduit, Abergel, Le Fee; Moffi, Lauriente

Angers possible starting lineup:
Mandrea; Manceau, Traore, Thomas, Bamba; Doumbia, Taibi, Fulgini, Brahimi; Cho, Fatar

SM words green background

We say: Lorient 1-0 Angers

Knowing how poor these teams have played, not to mention the lengthy pause in between their previous matches, it could take a while for each side to get into match form, but Lorient could be due for a win as they played much more inspiring football in their last fixture even if it was not a victory.

Angers seem to struggle against the weaker sides in the French top flight, failing to win four fixtures against teams seeded in 15th place or lower.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data

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Angers' Mohamed-Ali Cho pictured in October 2021
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