Although they played against 10 for about an hour, Angers couldn’t find the winner last round away at Caen (finished 0-0). Angers are in an offensive standstill since the first rounds when striker Sunu got injured. He returned form injury a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately he is clearly out-of-form and the entire offensive phase suffers.
Set pieces play a major role in Angers’ strategy and it’s no wonder central midfielders Mangani and Ndoye are the best scores so far (3 goals each).
They have a decent defense but when up against resourceful opponents Angers always concede.
Hosts will welcome back forward Camara who was suspended last round.
It was surprising to see Lille so confident and offensive minded last round away at Troyes (finished 1-1). They usually are much more cautious and only embrace an offense style on home ground. Maybe because the opponent was considered very accessible Lille were so courageous, especially when best player Boufal was out suspended.
Boufal is Lille’s top-scorer, he is the one who usually initiates most offensive actions and also the one trying to apply the finishing touch.
Last round Lille successfully coped with Boufal’s absence because the other forwards were more active than ever, but now Angers won’t be considered such an accessible opponent, and Lille will most probably switch back to the their usual waiting game.
Lille will once again miss key player Boufal but may welcome back defender Basa.
Judging by how these teams usually perform this should be a pretty boring encounter with only a few real scoring opportunities. The game should be played mostly in midfield with both sides concentrating primarily on not leaving any open spaces. A goalless draw shouldn’t be ruled out.
UPDATE: No surprises in the squads
Angers: Angers : Butelle, Letellier – Andreu, G.Angoula, Is.Traoré, Thomas, Bouka-Moutou – Auriac, Capelle, Diers, Manceau, Mangani, C.Ndoye, Saïss – R.Camara, Karanovic, Ketkeophomphone, Sunu
Lille: Enyeama, Maignan – Corchia, D.Sidibé, Civelli, Pavard, Soumaoro, Sunzu, Y.Koné – Mavuba, Balmont, I.Amadou, M.Martin, Bauthéac, S.Meïté – Benzia, B.Guillaume, Nangis, Tallo