Paris Saint Germain will be up against Angers in the Ligue 1 encounter away from home at the Stade Jean-Bouin on 21st April. PSG are the runaway league leaders and they secured an impressive win against Angers in Le Classique in their last encounter. Meanwhile, Angers are 14th in the league table and are only five points clear of the relegation zone.
PSG have the chance to wrap up the Ligue 1 title when they travel away to Angers at the Stade Raymond Kopa. For most of the season, a domestic title victory has only looked like a matter of time, and PSG are now closing in on that certainty in the final stages of the tournament. Angers, however, played out a thrilling 1-1 draw with Nantes in their most recent game.
Goalkeeper Anthony Mandrea has been solid in the wall for Angers. However, the 25-year-old is bound to have been frustrated after conceding a sloppy goal against Nantes the previous weekend. They came from behind to rescue a point and tie the game at 1-1.
Forward Soufiane Boufal produced a delightful piece of skill and then dint the ball past the Nantes keeper and into the back of the net with only 18 minutes on the clock. However, their own keeper, Mandrea, who had ironically made a number of crucial saves in the match, ended up letting Kalifa Coulibaly’s header slip underneath his hands early in the second half.
The hosts looked like a pretty solid outfit at the beginning of the season, which led to speculation about a potential push for European places. However, that has blown up in their faces as Angers have been unable to sustain that momentum and are now back down to earth. They are 14th in the league standings with six matches left to played and are also dangerously close to the drop zone. Five points separate them and Clermont Foot in 18th place.
Should they fail to improve their stead in the final few matches, there will surely be a few nervous gasps as they head towards the all-important business end of the league season. Hosting PSG is always going to be a difficult affair but on share have a relatively kinder list of fixtures following this. They will probably be strategizing ways to avoid getting battered against PSG while focusing on the fight that follows the mega-clash.
Angers have also picked up just one win in their last 11 Ligue 1 matches. With that being said, however, they have also been in solid form at home and have taken four points in their last six games at the Stade Raymond Kopa. It’s facts like these that offer some hope of positivity that the hosts will hope to cling on to as they prepare to host PSG.
PSG suffered heartbreak in Europe against Real Madrid in the Round of 16 stages of the Champions League and they were forced to watch their European competitors battle for places in the final four last week. Crashing out of Europe’s premier competition in unbelievable manner is rather becoming a sour theme for the Parisian club and despite the additions of superstars like Messi, Ramos, Hakimi, and Donnarumma, they were unable to avoid the same fate.
However, they are the runaway league leaders in France and another title is just a matter of time for the Parisian club. The domestic push is gathering pace once again and Mauricio Pochettino’s side have been in ruthless form since the return from the international break. PSG put five goals past Lorient earlier this month and they then went one better and topped themselves by smashing six goals against Clermont away from home. They then grabbed a massive 2-1 victory against Marseille in the Le Classique derby.
Brazilian superstar Neymar gave PSG the lead against Marseille. However, some lackadaisical defending from the Parisian outfit during a corner routine allowed Duje Caleta Car to score one of the simplest goals of his career. Kylian Mbappe then came to PSG’s rescue once again and he scored his 21st league goal of the season from the penalty spot after Gerson was penalised for handling the ball in his own area. Lionel Messi and William Saliba also had goals ruled out on the night.
Although it is arriving towards the late stages of the season, but PSG’s famed attacking trio of Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi are finally starting to click. In the match against Clermont, both Mbappe and Neymar netted hattricks while the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner set up three goals for his teammates in the match.
While Messi has attracted criticism for his lack of goals in his maiden Ligue 1 season, he has made up for it by racking up plenty of assists. He registered three assists in a match for the second time this season and is only behind his Parisian teammate Mbappe at the top of the assist charts in Ligue 1.
PSG have now opened up a 15-point gap at the top of the standings, which means that if they claim their fourth domestic league win on the trot against Angers and Marseille failed to win their respective match against Nantes, the Ligue 1 Crown will automatically be theirs with five matches to spare.
Last time PSG faced Angers, they struggled to a 2-1 victory back in October. It is the 13th successive win against Thursday’s hosts in all competitions since a goalless stalemate in 2015.
ANG vs PSG, Ligue 1 2021/22
Date: 21st April, 2022
Time: 12:30 AM IST
Venue: Stade Jean-Bouin, Angers
Angers Ligue 1 form:
Angers form (all competitions):
Paris Saint Germain Ligue 1 form:
Paris Saint Germain form (all competitions):
Angers wins: 12
Paris Saint Germain wins: 31
Angers Team News: Angers left-back Souleyman Doumbia will be available for this clash after serving a one-match suspension in the previous match against Nantes. He will be in contention for an immediate recall to the starting XI which is likely to relegate Pierrick Capelle to the bench.
Jimmy Cabot has been ruled out with a sprained ankle and he will be kept company by Mathias Pereira Lage who is suffering from a knee problem. It is still unclear whether Stephane Bahoken’s adductor issue will recover in time to render him fit for PSG’s visit.
Soufiane Boufal, who scored a wonderful goal in the previous game, is expected to partner Angelo Fulgini in attack if Bahoken cannot make it to the starting XI. However, Mohamed Ali Cho might be ready to be called upon when required.
Paris Saint Germain Team News: PSG suddenly find themselves without the services of a whole host of players. The treatment room appears to be in full capacity once again. Midfielders Leandro Paredes and Julian Draxler are set to miss the remainder of the season after getting operated. They will also be kept company in the medical room by Ander Herrera, Ismael Gharbi, Layvin Kurzawa and Abdou Diallo.
The silver lining for Pochettino is that Angel Di Maria and Keylor Navas have both returned to training and Navas was even able to make it to the bench in the previous game. It won’t be surprising to see Gianluigi Donnarumma hand over the gloves to his more experienced teammate after he was at fault for conceding a sloppy goal against Marseille.
PSG, however, will miss star man Neymar who has to serve a one-match suspension after an accumulation of yellow cards. The Brazilian forward was lucky to not talk his way to a red card after a particularly strong outburst during the game.
Angers possible starting lineup:
Mandrea; Ebosse, Traore, Thomas; Bamba, Mangani, Mendy, Ounahi, Doumbia; Fulgini; Boufal
Paris Saint Germain possible starting lineup:
Navas; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Ramos, Bernat; Gueye, Pereira, Verratti; Di Maria, Messi, Mbappe
PSG almost have the title in their bag and therefore, it won’t be surprising to see Pochettino make a few changes to the side. He can afford to rotate and rest his players and give opportunities to those who haven’t seen much game-time this season. Even with a reshuffled pack of players, PSG will be the favourites to carve their way through the Angers backline which has often looked shaky.
Paris Saint Germain might have to wait a little to lift yet another domestic title if Marseille win their match this week. However, their runaway league leaders will be one step closer to confirming their status as champions with a victory over Angers at the Stade Raymond Kopa.