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Dec 5, 2021 at 2pm UK
Ekitike (59' pen.)
Berisha (27'), Lopy (30'), Matusiwa (48')
Berisha (35')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Boufal (49' pen.), Fulgini (75')
Boufal (33'), Traore (39'), Doumbia (57')

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

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

Fresh from a memorable win away to Lyon, Reims resume Ligue 1 action with Sunday's battle against Angers at the Stade Auguste-Delaune.

While Oscar Garcia's men were busy producing the goods at an empty Groupama Stadium, Angers' battle with Monaco ended in a 3-1 defeat.

Match preview

The normally-reliable Anthony Lopes picked the worst time to make an uncharacteristic mistake in between the sticks for Lyon, who equalised through Karl Toko Ekambi against Reims after Wout Faes's header broke the deadlock at an eerily quiet Groupama Stadium.

With no fans present to witness the game after the bottle-throwing incident against Marseille, Lopes allowed a long-range effort to slip out of his grasp, and substitute striker Hugo Ekitike was on hand to tap home in the third minute of second-half injury time.

Oscar Garcia's side sure are enjoying their mini revival in Ligue 1 having now gone four games without defeat - taking eight points from the last 12 on offer - and they have risen to 14th in the table as a result of their upturn in form.

Reims now find themselves six points clear of the relegation playoff place and seven above the automatic drop zone, and they welcome Angers to the Stade Auguste-Delaune having kept back-to-back clean sheets at home, but the visitors are in no mood to be thwarted.

Despite posting respectable results against champions Lille and European challengers Lens away from home in November, Angers were humbled on their own turf by Monaco on Wednesday as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat at the Stade Raymond Kopa.

Myron Boadu and Sofiane Diop put Les Monegasques two goals to the good before an incredibly unfortunate Alexander Nubel reduced the deficit for Angers, but Axel Disasi would make sure of the win in the 73rd minute as Les Scoistes' slump continued.

Gerald Baticle's men were one of the early-season surprise packages and are still somewhat in the mix with the big boys, but they have now dropped to eighth in the table and are four points adrift of fifth-placed Lens.

However, the tight nature of the table means that only three points separate eighth-placed Angers from 14th-placed Reims heading into Sunday's contest, and Baticle's side travel to the Stade Auguste-Delaune winless in seven away from home - drawing six of them.

Another stalemate is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility this weekend, as four of the last six meetings between Reims and Angers have finished level, and Les Scoistes have won just one of their eight Ligue 1 meetings with the hosts since 2015.

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

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

Team News

Reims midfielder Azor Matusiwa returns from a ban served in the victory over Lyon, so Moreto Cassama's place in the XI could be in doubt after he lasted just 45 minutes in midweek.

Manager Garcia and Yunis Abdelhamid will both sit out the fixture with Saint-Etienne but will be involved here, while Fraser Hornby, Fode Doucoure and Arber Zeneli are all injured.

Ekitike is sure to challenge El Bilal Toure for a start in the final third following his late winner on Wednesday, with Garcia otherwise seeing no need to alter the pack from that success.

As for Angers, left-back Souleyman Doumbia returns from suspension to take his rightful place on the left, as Enzo Ebosse prepares to make way.

Danijel Petkovic continues to hold the fort as the last line of defence with Paul Bernardoni dealing with a particularly nasty illness, while Bilal Brahimi and Zinedine Ould Khaled are both nursing thigh problems.

Baticle should resist the urge to make many changes from the midweek defeat, but the likes of Batista Mendy, Pierrick Capelle and Stephane Bahoken are all on standby.

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Gravillon, Abdelhamid, Faes; Foket, Lopy, Matusiwa, Berisha, Konan; Kebbal, Ekitike

Angers possible starting lineup:
Petkovic; Manceau, Traore, Thomas; Cabot, Fulgini, Mangani, Ounahi, Doumbia; Cho, Boufal

We say: Reims 1-1 Angers

Angers' spate of stalemates on the road has to end at some point, but these sides have barely been separated in recent years, and we can see that trend continuing here.

Very rarely have Baticle's men been kept at bay this term, but Reims are more than capable of making it a frustrating afternoon and can rely on their talented prospects up top to rescue a point.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 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.Under 2.5:data

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