Angers v Amiens – Stade Raymond Kopa at 19:00 GMT +1
Angers return to their fortress Stade Raymond Kopa home on Saturday for a very winnable showdown against Amiens. Few Ligue 1 teams can match Les Scoistes for consistency and continuity and the Loire Valley outfit are excelling in their fifth consecutive season in France’s top-flight this term.
Led by long-term boss Stephane Moulin– in his ninth season in the dugout – the western France club have produced a perfect record in front of their home supporters. Angers have bagged four successive victories here, scoring at least three goals on three separate occasions, to challenge towards the top of the table.
The hosts travelled to Toulouse on Wednesday night but should be refreshed and ready for their weekend outing and are worth backing at kind 1.85 quotes to seal top honours. Angers have been beaten at the Raymond Kopa just five times since the start of last season and are coming up against renowned poor travellers next.
Improving Amiens still opposable away
Amiens defied their relegation favourites status two seasons ago after enjoying back-to-back promotions to reach the top-flight. Les Licornes repeated the feat by finishing 15th last term despite rating as the division’s third-worst outfit – the minnows again focussed all their attention on their organised backline.
The Picardy-region posse amassed only 31 goals and produced a dire Expected Goals (xG) average as they concluded the campaign four points above the relegation play-off place. Amiens have been hoping for a more comfortable ride under highly-rated coach Luka Elsner following Christophe Pelissier’s exit.
Elsner is the youngest Ligue 1 head coach and is seen as a bit of a gamble by Les Licornes. However, the ambitious Slovenian is keen to make his mark on Amiens and has promised a more forward-thinking approach as he bids to consolidate the club in the top-tier of French football for a third successive season.
Early season results have been mixed but there have been a few positive signs of profess from Amiens’ new boss. The club are still struggling to exert their dominance on the performance data tables, although a rare success at Metz in their most recent road trip will have improved confidence in the ranks.
The betting angle
Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Elsner rest and rotate his group with a tough contest against Bordeaux taking place just 72 hours earlier. French clubs are known to put the majority of their emphasis on home fixtures in these sorts of situations and that means it’s already advantage Angers here.
Angers are sitting inside Ligue 1’s top six for all the major data metrics after an eye-catching opening and I’m counting on the hosts improving their impressive home record here. Amiens have W7-D10-L24 on their travels since promotion and look well worth opposing on Saturday night.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Angers -0.50 at 1.850
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.