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Aug 8, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stade de la Meinau
0 - 2

Djiku (18'), Lienard (40')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Traore (57'), Bahoken (81')
Taibi (35'), Mangani (41'), Thomas (79')

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

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

Strasbourg will be looking to make the perfect start to their 2021-22 Ligue 1 campaign when they welcome Angers to Stade de la Meinau on Sunday afternoon.

Angers picked up 44 points from their 38 matches last season to claim 13th in France's top flight, while Strasbourg finished 15th with a total of 42 points, which left them just two points outside of the relegation zone.

Match preview

Strasbourg will compete in their fifth straight season at this level of football in 2021-22, and they have finished 15th, 11th, 10th and 15th since earning promotion back to the top flight by winning Ligue 2 in 2016-17.

Les Coureurs struggled for consistency last term, losing 18 of their 38 league matches, but a total of 42 points – gathered via 11 wins and nine draws – allowed them to remain in the league, ultimately finishing two points ahead of Nantes in 18th.

Julien Stephan signed a three-year contract to become the club's new manager at the end of May, and having made a strong impression at Rennes, there is a lot expected of the 40-year-old in the coming campaign.

Strasbourg recorded a 3-2 win over Eintracht Frankurt in a pre-season clash on July 24 but lost twice to Freiburg last weekend and will be determined to start their 2021-22 season with a positive performance and result.

Karol Fila, Kevin Gameiro, Jean-Eudes Aholou and Lucas Perrin have arrived at the club this summer, but they have lost highly-rated defender Mohamed Simakan to RB Leipzig in a lucrative deal for the French outfit.

Angers, meanwhile, finished 13th in Ligue 1 last term, winning 12, drawing eight and losing 18 of their 38 matches to collect 44 points, which left them two points clear of their opponents this weekend.

The Black and Whites have competed in France's top flight since 2015, but it could be a difficult campaign for the club, who were handed a transfer ban by FIFA at the end of April, which has limited their summer activity.

Angers will host Lyon in their second match of the season on August 15 before ending the month with clashes against Bordeaux and Rennes.

There will also be a new head coach in the away team's dugout this weekend, with Gerard Baticle, who was assistant coach at Lyon for 10 years, being appointed as Stephane Moulin's replacement.

Angers, who took part in five friendlies over the course of their pre-season, actually performed better on their travels last term than at home, collecting 23 of their 44 points away, which is an area that Baticle will certainly be looking to improve over the course of the season.

Strasbourg form (pre-season):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Angers form (pre-season):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Gameiro has returned to Strasbourg this summer for a second spell, and the 34-year-old is expected to lead the home side's line on Sunday.

Fellow newcomers Fila and Perrin are also likely to be included in the first XI, while Abdul Majeed Waris and Adrien Thomasson are also in line for spots in the side.

Matz Sels will feature between the sticks for the home side, who do not have any confirmed absentees through injury or suspension in the lead up to kickoff on Sunday afternoon.

Angers, meanwhile, are also expected to have a full squad available for the contest, and it will be interesting to see whether Baticle sends a defensive-minded XI onto the field.

Stephane Bahoken found the back of the net on six occasions in Ligue 1 last term, and the 28-year-old is likely to lead the line with support from Sofiane Boufal and Jimmy Cabot.

Mohamed Ali Cho was also a regular for Angers last term, and the 17-year-old could be handed a spot in the starting side, while Ismael Traore will captain the side from the middle of the defence.

Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Sels; Perrin, Djiku, Sissoko, Fila; Lienard, Bellegarde; Ajorque, Thomasson, Waris; Gameiro

Angers possible starting lineup:
Petkovic; Ebosse, Traore, Thomas, Manceau; Mendy, Capelle; Cabot, Ali Cho, Boufal; Bahoken

We say: Strasbourg 2-1 Angers

Both teams will feel that they can hurt the other in the final third of the field, and we are expecting a close contest on Saturday. That said, the addition of Gameiro could be key for Strasbourg, and we are predicting a narrow success for Stephan's side in their opening match of the campaign.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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