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May 14, 2022 at 8pm UK at Stade Saint-Symphorien
1 - 0
Lamkel Ze (50')
Cande (34'), Traore (60'), Delaine (68')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Bentaleb (23')

Preview: Metz vs. Angers - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Metz vs. Angers - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Ligue 1 clash between Metz and Angers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Struggling Metz will be looking to keep their slim survival hopes alive when they take on already-safe Angers in a key Ligue 1 contest on Saturday night.

The home side are currently 19th in the table, three points behind 18th-placed Saint-Etienne with two games left, while Angers are now up in 14th courtesy of their impressive win over Bordeaux last time out.

Match preview

There is no getting away from the fact that Metz are in a tough spot in Ligue 1 with just two games of the regular season left to play, with the club occupying 19th position, three points behind 18th-placed Saint-Etienne and six behind 17th-placed Lorient.

Metz's goal difference is only slightly worse than Lorient's, so it is not impossible to see them finishing 17th, but a lot would have to happen for that to be the case, starting with a strong victory this weekend.

The home team will enter this contest off the back of an impressive win, beating Lyon 3-2 on Sunday, with Farid Boulaya hitting the winner in the 90th minute after Moussa Dembele looked to have done enough to secure a share of the spoils for the visitors.

The Maroons, who finished 10th in Ligue 1 last term, will finish their campaign away to the champions Paris Saint-Germain on May 21, so a positive result in Friday's contest is crucial.

Frederic Antonetti's side suffered a 3-2 defeat in the reverse match earlier this season, while they have not actually beaten Angers in France's top flight since September 2017.

Angers ensured their survival at this level of football with a comprehensive victory over Bordeaux last weekend, with the home side running out 4-1 winners against the league's basement side.

The victory moved Le SCO onto 38 points, leaving them in 14th position in the table, seven points ahead of 18th-placed Saint-Etienne, so they are not under any pressure heading into their final two matches.

Angers are five points behind 13th-placed Montpellier HSC but only four ahead of 17th-placed Lorient, so they will be looking down the table rather than up at this stage of the campaign.

Gerald Baticle's side have shared the points with Nantes and Clermont in two of their last three away league matches but have not been victorious on their travels in France's top flight since the start of December.

The pressure is firmly on Metz in Saturday's contest, though, and the visitors will be bidding to make it three straight victories over their opponents at this level of football.

Metz Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W

Angers Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Metz will be without the services of Vincent Pajot through suspension on Saturday, while Fabien Centonze, Ibrahim Amadou, Fali Cande and Habib Maiga are all injured.

The home side will be boosted by the return of Alexandre Oukidja, with the goalkeeper available for selection after missing out against Lyon through suspension, but he could find himself on the bench.

Head coach Antonetti is expected to make changes to the side that started against Lyon, with Papa Yade and Kevin N'Doram both in contention, while Pajot's spot could be taken by Boulaya.

As for Angers, Pierrick Capelle, Sofiane Boufal and Jimmy Cabot are out of the match through injury, while Souleyman Doumbia is suspended.

Romain Thomas is available again following a suspension, though, and the 33-year-old is expected to come back into the starting XI on Saturday.

The visitors could otherwise be unchanged, with a 5-3-2 formation seeing Stephane Bahoken and Mohamed-Ali Cho, who have seven league goals between them this season, starting as the front two.

Metz possible starting lineup:
Caillard; Lacroix, Kouyate, Niakate; Mikelbrencis, Boulaya, Traore, N'Doram, Yade; De Preville, Lamkel Ze

Angers possible starting lineup:
Mandrea; Lage, Manceau, Traore, Ebosse, Thomas; Fulgini, Bentaleb, Mendy; Bahoken, Cho

We say: Metz 1-1 Angers

Metz are in desperate need of the points, as they bid to escape the relegation zone, but we are struggling to back the home side with any real confidence; Angers should be good enough for a point here, which might well relegate Metz depending on other results.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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Ligue 1 Table
CParis Saint-GermainPSG38268490365486
13Montpellier HSCMontpellier38127194961-1243
18Saint-EtienneSt Etienne38711204277-3532
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