Angers host Nice at the Stade Raymond Kopa this Sunday in a clash where both teams need all three points. The hosts sit bottom of the table with little hope of survival in Ligue 1 whereas Nice sit 13 places above them in seventh with eyes set firmly on another year in European football.
Angers have had an awful season so far, winning just twice all season, drawing four times and losing an impressive 22 games, three more than Ajaccio who have the second worst record in Ligue 1. On just ten points, Angers seem set for a return back to the second tier of French football as 19th place Ajaccio have 21 points, and safety is a staggering 14 points away.
In their last five Ligue 1 games, Angers have five losses. The trip to 15th place Strasbourg ended in a win for the hosts, though Angers did manage to get on the scoresheet as Nabil Bentaleb managed to convert the penalty, the game finishing 2 - 1. Angers next hosted sixth place Lille who won 3 - 1 with Abdallah Sima managing to grab a consolation goal in the 87th minute. The game at Montpellier was one to forget, with 11th place Montpellier running away with a 5 - 0 win and Bentaleb picking up a red card. The final two losses were a 2 - 0 loss to Toulose and then a 3 - 0 loss to Lens before the league paused for the international break.
Didier Digard’s side have 11 wins, 11 draws and six losses in 28 games and Nice currently sit in seventh in Ligue 1 also beating Sheriff a comfortable 4 - 1 on aggregate to progress to the Quarter-finals of the Europa League. However, if Nice want to return to the Europa League again next season they’ll need to bridge either the six point gap to fifth-place Rennes to win a place in the qualifiers or bridge the ten point gap to fourth-place Monaco in order to go straight to the group stages.
However, this may be harder in their current form. In their last five Ligue 1 games, Nice have one win and four draws. The draw against Reims was the only goalless draw of the four, with the others all seeing goals. The 1 - 1 draw with 17th place Auxerre stung, despite Nice coming from behind in extra time of the first half and the 2 - 2 draw would’ve similarly frustrated Nice as they let a 2 - 1 lead go in the 88th minute. Their 1 - 1 draw against Lorient in the last game before the international break saw Nice unable to find the second goal, even with Lorient going a man down.
Angers and Nice have only met 18 times in their history with Angers having spent a considerable amount of time in Ligue 2. The hosts have only beaten Nice on four occasions, whereas Nice have won eight times, with the fixture ending in a share of the points six times.