Preview: Angers vs. Marseille

Preview: Angers vs. Marseille

Angers will endeavour to record their third-straight victory in Ligue 1 when Marseille pay a visit to the Stade Raymond Kopa on Friday night.

Les Scoistes secured a hard-fought 1-0 success over Nice during their most recent game, while Les Olympiens settled for a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Rennes.

As if waiting for a bus, Angers fans waited a long time for a win in the top flight before two came in quick succession after they opened the new season with just two points from their opening six matches.

A four-game losing streak was snapped with a 2-1 success over Montpellier HSC before Gerald Baticle’s side travelled to Nice’s headquarters and came away with a 1-0 win to their name, as Nabil Bentaleb struck on the stroke of half time following Jean-Clair Todibo’s record-breaking ninth-second red card.

Angers also finished the game with just 10 men as Sofiane Boufal was given his marching orders for two bookable offences, but Les Scoistes nevertheless held on to make it back-to-back wins in Ligue 1 for the first time since August 2021.

That six-point haul has allowed Baticle’s transitioning side to rise above the dreaded dotted line into 14th place – two points clear of the four-team relegation zone – and a third successive win would propel Angers into the top 10 before the weekend’s action commences.

Not since March 2020 have Angers managed to claim three successive victories in Ligue 1 – their hot streak that year was curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic – and ending a six-game run without a clean sheet is just what the doctor ordered before Marseille’s bountiful attacking options pay a visit.

Already on the back foot in their Champions League endeavours, a hint of European fatigue may have crept in for Marseille last time out, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Rennes only a few days after coming out second best against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Matteo Guendouzi defined the term zero to hero at the Orange Velodrome, as the ex-Arsenal man’s own goal put Rennes ahead in the first half before he headed home to restore parity for Les Olympiens seven minutes into the second period.

There were no more goals to be had as Igor Tudor’s side went back-to-back games without a win in all competitions for the first time this season, and it is also just one victory in their last four for Les Olympiens, who remain on the coat-tails of Paris Saint-Germain.

PSG and Marseille are two of only three sides in Ligue 1 yet to lose this season – the other being Lens – and Tudor’s side are still sitting pretty in second place in the rankings, two points adrift of the champions and one clear of early-season surprise package Lorient.

An eye-catching tally of 12 wins from their last 17 Ligue 1 matches on the road – including each of their last two – stands Marseille in good stead for the trip to the Stade Raymond Kopa, and their most recent meeting with Angers in February ended in a comprehensive 5-2 win.

Angers Ligue 1 form:
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Marseille Ligue 1 form:
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Marseille form (all competitions):
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We say: Angers 0-2 Marseille
Unless Marseille also go a man down within the first 10 seconds, Angers’ momentum should be halted by the away-day specialists, and the international break came at a more ideal time for Tudor rather than Baticle.

Les Olympiens have started the new domestic season as they mean to go on, whereas Angers are still prone to a leaky defensive display and could be picked off by the visitors’ wealth of attacking options on Friday.

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