Referee Millot ruined the game between Guingamp and Angers last round (finished 2-2). Angers were leading 1-0 and controlled the game, but the referee had other plans and invented a red card and two penalties. That game was another proof of the poor refereeing standards in Ligue1, and it’s no wonder why France doesn’t have any referees at international competitions.
Although Angers won only 1 point in the last 5 rounds, they looked improved recently and very determined. Unfortunately they won’t be at full strength this round, as key midfielder NDoye will be suspended. Alongside Mangani, Ndoye is the most important player in the squad, and without him the overall strength diminishes considerably.
Forward Capelle suffered an injury last week and most probably will miss this game.
In comparison to the first part of the season St Etienne clearly improved from an offensive point of view, but it seems that now they are neglecting the defensive phase.
In 2016 they kept only 2 clean sheets (cups included), and because of the loose defense, the chance for qualifying in Europe next season are diminishing as round goes by.
Keeper Ruffier is extremely active in each game and his form is excellent, but the ease with which opponents reach St Etienne’s penalty box is worrying.
The same happened in the Cup game against PSG when St Etienne’s defender didn’t stood a chance (PSG won 3-1).
Important winger Hamouma got injured once again and most probably will sit out.
Most likely Angers will let St Etienne control the game and will focus on speculating on counters. But it will be difficult without key player Ndoye (also top-scorer) regardless St Etienne’s loose defense.
UPDATE: No surprises in the squads
Angers: Letellier, Petric – Andreu, G.Angoula, Bourillon, Manceau, R.Thomas, Is.Traoré – Auriac, Benrahma, Bouka-Moutou, Diers, Mangani, Saïss – Karanovic, Ketkeophomphone, Nsamé, Sunu, M.Yattara
Saint-Etienne : Ruffier, Moulin – Théophile-Catherine, Tabanou, P.Pogba, Perrin, Bayal, Assou-Ekotto, Pierre-Gabriel – Pajot, Clément, Cohade, Eysseric, Selnaes, Lemoine – Roux, Maupay, Monnet-Paquet, Söderlund