For the third week on the bounce, Mark O’Haire is sticking to Ligue 1 with a pair of goal selections that tick a few boxes!
Le Sco’s Are This Season’s Great Entertainers
Angers have opened their Ligue 1 campaign with back-to-back draws, playing out a fabulously fun 0-0 at home to Nantes on matchday one before securing a share of the spoils in an enjoyable 2-2 at newly-promoted Auxerre last time out.
Le Sco’s first two fixtures have featured 52 shots and over 5.50 Expected Goals (xG).
The two tussles have largely been end-to-end and entertaining affairs, and I suspect Sunday’s showdown with Brest at the Stade Raymond Kopa could follow those trends.
That being said, I’m anticipating a tough season for the hosts.
Takeover talk has stalled around Angers, leaving Les Noirs et Blancs in a degree of limbo and head coach Gerald Baticle short on standout options following the sales of key personnel. A raft of youngsters and journeymen have plugged the necessary gaps, although Le Sco have shown they’re willing to give it a go.
Last term, Angers scored in 21 of their 26 match-ups with teams outside of the top-six – 17 (65%) of which paid out for Both Teams To Score backers.
The prospect of a repeat BTTS scenario at 1.81 is attractive should Baticle’s boys follow the same forward-thinking blueprint against an expansive Brest side this weekend.
Brest were exposed on the flanks yet still showcased their attacking intent in a spirited 3-2 reverse at Lens on MD1 before catching the eye in a 1-1 draw when welcoming Marseille.
Les Pirates produced plenty in the final third against the 2021/22 runners-up, generated 2.05 xG and fired in 17 attempts at goal, the bulk of which arrived from open play.
So, despite the demanding schedule, there’s been encouraging signs from Michel Der Zakarian’s outfit, and Brest’s long-term numbers remain firm in our proposed market. A hefty 63% of the visitors’ outings last term returned BTTS profit, and the same selection has copped in 15/20 (75%) road trips going back to the beginning of 21/22.
Les Pirates have gotten on the scoresheet themselves in 17 of those aforementioned 20 away days whilst silencing only two of their hosts during that same sample.
The Brittany side should fancy their chances on Sunday, which should lead us towards an open and enjoyable encounter with both sides capable of obliging.
Goals Expected Down On The Med
Montpellier have held the mantle of being labelled Ligue 1’s entertainers in previous seasons.
Despite the departures of key front pair Andy Delort and Gaetan Laborde last term, La Paillade appear to be returning to their roots in 2022/23 following two high-scoring matches to begin the new campaign.
MHSC have enjoyed a reasonable transfer market, putting together an exuberant squad, particularly with forward-thinking head coach Olivier Dall’Oglio able to call upon several exciting youngsters in midfield positions whilst executing his free-flowing style with numerous pacey options in attacking areas.
However, Montpellier still aren’t to be trusted at the back and continue to lack the defensive steel required to make the step up in their quest to compete for European qualification places.
The hosts have serious concerns at centre-back and have appeared vulnerable at set-pieces during the embryonic stages of the season.
The ingredients are, therefore, in place for another attractive encounter on Sunday afternoon as newly-promoted Auxerre head to the Stade de la Mosson.
The visitors fell to a 4-1 defeat at Lille on their return to Ligue 1 football following a 10-year absence before playing out that enjoyable 2-2 stalemate with Angers most recently.
As touched upon in last week’s column, AJA boss Jean-Marc Furlan is another head coach that’s deep-rooted in his association and commitment to play dynamic, carefree and attack-minded football with Auxerre fun to follow during their promotion campaign.
The Burgundy boys boast plenty of creative quality in midfield.
They have enough ability in forward areas to trouble opposition defences outside the top-six, which suggests this weekend’s match-up could prove to be a very watchable affair between two open and offensive sides with strengths and weaknesses in opposite ends the pitch.
The first four fixtures involving these two clubs have featured 21 goals, with all four beating the Over 3.5 Goals line and three topping the Over 4.5 Goals barrier.
Both Teams To Score has clicked in all four, and so it’s surprising to see the goal line set so low for Sunday’s showdown, allowing us to support Over 2.0/2.5 Goals at an appetising 1.80.
- Both Teams To Score in Angers vs Brest – 2 units @ 1.81
- Over 2.0/2.5 Goals in Montpellier vs Auxerre – 2 units @ 1.80