Sunday, 2 April 2017

Nantes - Angers

PICK: over 2,25 @2,00 PINNACLE 3/10

Derby will start at 17:00 on La Beaujoire. Home team - 11th placed Nantes (38 points) will host 10th placed rival Angers who has only point point more. Moreover 9th placed Rennes is playing tough match against Lyon, while Guingamp is sitting on 8th position with 41 points.

Nantes is in solid form in second part of season and most of the credits goes to new coach Sergio Conceiçao. He changed mind of Nantes from extra defensive minded to offensive minded, to team who is playing high pressing, who is stealing lots of balls (3rd best team in league) and most important - to the team, capable to create chances. Thanks to him, many supporters forgot on fights with president of the club, problems with Bamou, and it feels like stadium breathe for the team again. After arrival of Portuguese manager, Nantes lost only against PSG, Monaco and Nancy. In last match against Nice they played 1-1, but referee made big mistake as there was clear foul on Nakoulma in penalty box at the end of the match. Except Riou and Kwateng, who have problems with knee, everything is fine with all others. Riou will be in the squad, but I expect Dupé to start the match. 

Angers is among the top teams recently. Looking at their last matches, we can clearly see that they are far from poor team as they looked on the start of the season. After being on winless run since 19th of November 2016 till 8th of February 2017, they won 5 of 6 last matches. In last match they won against Guingamp with 3-0, but result could be totally different if Guingamp will score from their chances in first half (ht 0-0). They were on winless run during the African cup. Angers was most affected team in top5 leagues as they missed 4 important players, who scored 12 of total 15 goals till this period of the season. Now, players are back and team is obviously back on the track.  It will be 250th match for Stephane Moulin on the bench of the team.

I think that we will see open match. Temperature is ideal, almost windless, and pitch is well prepared, so conditions for the match are perfect. Moulin was talking highly about Nantes. Saying that they mastered 4-4-2, that they remind him on Monaco, with 2 strong, well organised midfielders Rongier and Gillet, and full backs and wings always making pressure on the opponent. Both teams had 15 days to prepare on the match, and I believe that they were more focused on that how to take advantage, not how to defend. Some people are thinking in the way that point could be fine for both teams, but I don't believe that. It's a derby for god's sake! Both teams are very dynamic, they like to attack, and I really expect goals here. Nantes used to go high with both full backs, Dubois and Lima, wingers are meanwhile even higher or going into the middle. That will cause problems to Angers for sure, but on the other hand, they will have lot of space for counters over quick players as Ekambi, Bamba, Pepe,.. Both teams are strong also from set pieces, atmosphere in both sides is great, and as mentioned above, we can expect good, open match, with lots of created chances.

FT: 2-1

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