Arles vs Angers by Isaiah
Arles took a point last weekend in a 1:1 draw away to Orleans, probably ending the game in a fair way. Their hosts were slightly better during the first halftime, as they opened the scoreline in third minute from a penalty kick, but remained playing with a man less since exclusion of their player in 37th minute.
Even though they played with a man less for almost an hour, the team remained in control over the ball, lost good chances to double up the lead and the equalizer finally game in the last quarter of the game. Visitors were generally mostly passive, but once they started pushing for the goal, even a draw was jeopardized for the hosts, anyhow, the draw would have probably been more fair result. However, the feeling is that the players of Arles were quite poor for the second time in a row and they surely are in kind of a competitive problem. Atmosphere is not at the best possible level, as the team goes stuck at the bottom of the standings and are now ten points away from the danger zone. Today's game is crucial, since it's a home game and they need to send a clear message that the team is still alive in a relegation battle. Substitute goalkeeper Yattara (2/0) is on African Cup of Nations duty, while due to injury they will miss van Kessel (Dutch striker, 13/2), important midfielders Blanc (18/0) and Coulomb (11/0) - three absences that are not covered easy at all in their roster.
Angers, on the other side, comes from a 3:1 victory over Nancy at home last weekend. They dominated completely from the first whistle and deservedly took the precious three points with a hat-trick from their best player Kodjia. Even when Nancy has equalized, they looked like it will be very tough for them to resists the pressure and immediately were left behind in the score again.
This was their first game since 18.12.2014, as the team didn't have Cup duties and it seems that a longer holiday period suited them well as the team showed to be very fresh and creative, approaching now to only five points away from the top three positions in the league. They have only one defeat in last six matches, having also collected seven points in last three rounds. Their atmosphere inside the locker room has improved, but they only now need to become more stable and to find even bigger positive streak. Important absence for them will be missing of midfielder Camara (16/3) today, who is at African Cup of Nations, as well as absence of back Moutou (16/0). Newcomer Ngando from Rennes will make a debut here, instead of Pessalli.
Both team will want to get the victory so the match will probably we very opened, with Angers insisting on counter attacks they usually do in a great way. Both teams to score should be one of the choices, but the visiting side surely have enough reasons to be slight favorites here, while the odds do give us some value right now.