Preview: Angers vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Preview: Angers vs. Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain can virtually wrap up the Ligue 1 title when Angers welcome them to the Stade Raymond Kopa for Wednesday’s encounter.

Les Scoistes played out a 1-1 draw with Nantes in their most recent encounter, while Mauricio Pochettino’s men ran out 2-1 winners over Marseille in Le Classique.

For all of the solid goalkeeping efforts of Anthony Mandrea in the Angers goal at the Stade de la Beaujoire, the 25-year-old would have been frustrated to concede the goal that he did against Nantes, who came from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw versus Gerald Baticle’s side over the weekend.

Sofiane Boufal’s delightful piece of skill and dinked effort propelled Angers into the lead with 18 minutes on the clock, but after Mandrea had made a number of top stops to keep Les Canaris at bay, he let Kalifa Coulibaly’s header slip under his grasp early in the second period.

A far cry from the relatively solid outfit they were at the start of the season – which led to talk of a potential push for a European place – Angers have been brought crashing back down to earth in the current calendar year and are 14th in the standings with six games left to play.

Les Scoistes still boast a five-point gap to the bottom three and eight-point buffer to the automatic relegation places, but a couple of nervous glances will become apparent around the Stade Raymond Kopa should their side fail to improve their fortunes in a relatively kind end-of-season fixture list.

Baticle has now witnessed his side pick up just one victory from their last 11 outings in Ligue 1, but they have at least taken four points from the last six on offer at the Stade Raymond Kopa and will need any slice of positivity they can garner before the visit of the champions-elect.

It would not be Le Classique without goals, a spate of cautions and a healthy dose of VAR controversy, but fortunately for the under-fire Pochettino, his PSG side emerged on the correct end of the scoreline to take a giant step towards regaining their domestic crown.

Neymar’s opener preceded the simplest equaliser that Duje Caleta-Car will ever score after some lackadaisical PSG defending from a corner, but Kylian Mbappe’s 21st Ligue 1 goal of the season from the penalty spot after Valentin Rongier and Gerson’s handball combination handed Les Parisiens maximum spoils.

Lionel Messi and William Saliba notably had strikes ruled out on the night for offside as PSG opened up a 15-point gap at the top of the rankings, meaning that they could officially clinch the title in gameweek 33 if results elsewhere go their way.

Should Pochettino’s side claim their fourth Ligue 1 win on the bounce versus Angers and Marseille fail to get the better of Nantes, the Ligue 1 crown will be theirs with five games to spare, but Pochettino will be wary of the fact that his side have now gone four league games without a clean sheet.

PSG had also lost four on the bounce away from home before firing six past Clermont on April 9, but they registered a hard-fought 2-1 win over Angers back in October’s clash – their 13th win on the bounce versus Les Scoistes in all competitions since a goalless stalemate in 2015.

Angers Ligue 1 form:
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Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form:
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Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions):
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We say: Angers 0-3 Paris Saint-Germain
Given PSG’s healthy lead at the summit and options for change on the sidelines, Pochettino can afford to rotate amid the quick turnaround, and a reshuffled squad should still have no problem carving their way through a meagre Angers backline.

Les Parisiens may have to wait that little bit longer to officially wrap up the title, but the runaway leaders should do all they can to confirm their status as champions at the Stade Raymond Kopa, where Angers have flattered to deceive more often than not recently.

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