Angers vs Sochaux by Raymond Fire
This season from their 17 games at home they have 11 wins, 4 draws and just 2 losses.. So all season they've lost just twice at home.. Both losses are forgivable too, one was to Troyes (soon to be league champions and the best away record) and the other was a very close game which ended 1-2, losing only in the 90th minute of the game due to an own goal! Apart from those games they'v been very solid at home, one of the best in the league.
Angers have a great squad for this division and are one of the strongest teams in this league. Today is a CRUCIAL game for them as they are fighting for promotion (top 3 finish). They currently sit 3rd however 4th place Nancy & Djon are both snapping at Anger's heels with both teams sitting just 2 points below.. The race is VERY tight but if Angers win this home fixture they will pretty much guarantee promotion.. 3 points would increase the small gap in the table and take them to joint 2nd place, a MUCH safer position for them... So today is an incredibly important game for Angers as potentially their promotion relies on it. They've been in top form and unbeaten for 7 games at home (5 wins & 2 draws).
For Sochaux, however, this is a MUCH less important game.
Sochaux's season is over, safe from relegation but too far away from promotion, they sit stranded mid-table, with nothing remaining to play for, except pride. They have no motives or aims left this season and it wouldn't make a difference to their campaign if they won/lost/drew this game.
As their motivation has dried out, and chances of promotion... Their performances have decreased in quality. They have had nothing to play for and their form has suffered due to this.. Now from their last 4 games they are without a win... 3 losses and 1 draw in this time... Their away form has been even worse. Originally, Sochaux appeared a strong team on the road where they gained lots of points.. but since then their form has turned and they have been playing VERY poorly away from home.
Now from their last 8 away games they are winless, since January.. They have 5 losses and 3 draws in this time... They also failed to even score a goal in most of those games. They will find it difficult now travelling to Angers.. one of the strongest teams at their own ground.
Angers have hosted Sochaux twice in the past... Both games ended in a home win for Angers, 1-0 and 2-0, both with clean sheets... I can see a potential repeat performance today.
The most recent H2H game was Angers playing away to Sochaux... Angers held them to a 1-1 draw on the road but were winning until they had their main striker sent off and had to play with 10 men.. They should see out all 3 points this time at home.
The only downside for Angers is that today they will be missing several players.. however this shouldn't be a major factor.. They're missing a couple of less important midfielders.. however all these players have been injured for a while, nothing new for Angers, so it shouldn't have an impact.. They have managed to maintain their form until now and this game is a particularly important one. Angers do however miss their top goal scorer today, Kodjia... However, again, he has had injury problems for a while now and Angers have been relying on their other quality attackers - mostly Camara.
Also, Sochaux don't come with a full squad. They are missing multiple usual starters, this includes 3 unavailable defenders, most noticeably the all important Mignot (25/2)... Key midfielder Berenguer (31/6) who has played pretty much every game for the visitors, and is their 2nd top scorer, is also missing today.
Big big game for Angers... The same cannot be said for Sochaux, who are the weaker team anyway, and playing away from home.
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