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Apr 4, 2021 at 12pm UK
MontpellierMontpellier HSC
Bahoken (72')
Capelle (49')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Mavididi (47')
Sambia (30')

Preview: Angers vs. Montpellier HSC - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Angers vs. Montpellier HSC - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Angers and Montpellier HSC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Montpellier HSC will be aiming to stretch their unbeaten run across all competitions to 11 matches when they travel to the Stade Raymond Kopa to take on Angers in Sunday lunchtime's Ligue 1 battle.

Michel Der Zakarian's men comfortably overcame Bordeaux before the international break, whereas Angers played out a goalless stalemate with Brest.

Match preview

Brest manager Olivier Dall'Oglio lamented his side's first-half performance as one of the worst he had seen against Angers, but Les Scoistes were unable to take advantage of their opponents' mediocrity as they were forced to settle for a point on March 21.

Having also failed to find the back of the net against Saint-Etienne the week before, Stephane Moulin must get Lois Diony and Stephane Bahoken firing on all cylinders in the business end of the season, but the latter is now experiencing his longest goal drought at the club after making it 12 games without finding the back of the net against Brest.

Angers have only lost one of their last six games across all competitions, and they lie smack-bang in the middle of the table after 30 matches - eight points adrift of the European places and 11 clear of the bottom three - so giving a good account of themselves in their remaining matches is all that Moulin will be asking for.

Les Scoistes also have a Coupe de France battle with fourth-tier side Sedan to look forward to in the last 16, so Moulin may decide to prioritise that winnable fixture with little to play for in the league, but Angers have already lost seven times on home soil this season and are often vulnerable on their own patch.

Furthermore, the 33 goals they have managed to chalk up is by far the fewest in the top half of the Ligue 1 table, but with Bahoken already boasting five goals against Montpellier, this game could be the perfect opportunity for the 28-year-old to rediscover his goalscoring touch before fixtures with Lyon, Rennes and Monaco.

On a day of spectacular goals, Montpellier kept their hot streak going with a resounding 3-1 triumph over Bordeaux on March 21 - a result which saw their unbeaten run in all competitions stretch to double figures at the Stade de la Mosson.

Hwang Ui-jo had initially broken the deadlock for Bordeaux, but Junior Sambia's magnificent free kick levelled proceedings before Andy Delort and Gaetan Laborde combined for La Paillade's second goal, while Stephy Mavididi put the icing on the cake with a splendid solo effort in the 69th minute.

Der Zakarian's side have not given up on their European dream just yet, and the eighth-placed Paillade are four points adrift of Lens in the final European spot, having enjoyed their best run in the division since stringing together an 11-game unbeaten run between August and November 2018.

Montpellier also have one eye on the Coupe de France as they gear up for a midweek battle with Chateaubriant, but for now, Der Zakarian will seek to extend his side's unbeaten run away from home in the league to five matches, although they have prevailed just once in their last seven on the road.

La Paillade thrashed Angers 4-1 earlier in the season, but this weekend's hosts are unbeaten in four league games on their own turf against Montpellier, who succumbed to a Bahoken winner in 1-0 defeat at the Stade Raymond Kopa last season.

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

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

Montpellier HSC Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

Montpellier HSC form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Angers' infirmary is starting to fill up again for a frustrated Moulin, as Sofiane Boufal and Lassana Coulibaly - who both came off the bench last time out - will miss this game with knee and calf problems respectively.

The two players are joined in the treatment room by Enzo Ebosse, Sada Thioub and Jimmy Cabot, although the former is making good progress in his recovery from an ACL injury, and Abdoulaye Bamba is available after initial concerns over his fitness.

Bahoken's alarming goal drought could tempt Moulin into handing Diony a start here, but the former has scored more goals against Montpellier than any other opponent and will hope to break his duck here.

In contrast, Montpellier's medical room only has one occupant in the form of Ambroise Oyongo, who is set to miss the rest of the campaign with an ACL injury.

Nicolas Cozza was a surprise starter at left-back last time out and will find himself under pressure from Mihailo Ristic here, but the remainder of Der Zakarian's team should remain untouched.

With Delort and Laborde boasting 18 and 17 goal contributions respectively this term, only Monaco and Lyon also have two players who have been involved in 15 or more goals in the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season.

Angers possible starting lineup:
Bernardoni; Manceau, Traore, Thomas, Doumbia; Amadou, Mangani; Capelle, Fulgini, Pereira Lage; Bahoken

Montpellier HSC possible starting lineup:
Omlin; Sambia, Hilton, Congre, Cozza; Ferri, Savanier; Laborde, Mollet, Mavididi; Delort

We say: Angers 1-2 Montpellier HSC

Despite their remarkable unbeaten run, Montpellier have failed to produce the goods away from home more often than not, and Der Zakarian must rectify that if his side are to maintain a charge for a top-five finish. Overcoming Angers on their own turf would be a good place to start, and with the hosts unpredictable at the Stade Raymond Kopa, we are backing Montpellier to come up trumps in a tight contest.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or 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.Home/Away:data

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