Mark O'Haire - Relegation Battles In France & Germany Take Centre Stage

10 min

With a +18% ROI on the season, Mark O’Haire aims to keep the good times rolling this weekend with bets in Ligue 1 & the Bundesliga


Angers began 2021/22 as an unknown quantity.

Long-term head coach Stéphane Moulin left last summer after 10 years in charge, making him the longest-serving manager in one of Europe’s top five leagues.

A change was necessary, and the club opted for a revolutionary option, bringing in Gérald Baticle, with an onus on transforming the side’s approach.

Previously, Le Sco were renowned for their physicality and ability to grind out results.

Well-drilled, meticulously organised and difficult to beat, the Pays de la Loire outfit often found themselves operating in mid-table – tough for the top teams to overcome, yet lacking in imagination and craft when coming across Ligue 1’s lesser lights.

Under Baticle, Angers began the campaign as a different beast.

Les Noirs et Blancs took a front-foot approach, defended higher up the pitch and ferociously pressed their opposition all over the park.

Despite a promising start to their season, Gerald Baticle’s Angers side have been dragged into a relegation dogfight. 

Le Sco were taking the initiative in games, playing with intensity and verve, and eager to get the ball forward once possession was turned over.

However, after an early season flourish, the wheels have slowly started to fall off.

Angers have slept walked into a relegation battle with only rock-bottom Metz collecting fewer points since September’s international break (W5-D10-L16). Still four points above the relegation play-off place, there’s breathing space, yet recent displays cause concern.

Baticle’s boys have earned only four clean sheets during that meek 31-game spell, and now prepare to face struggling Bordeaux in a vital six-pointer at the Stade Raymond Kopa on Sunday.

Angers will undoubtedly be targeting top honours – victory here would all but secure top-flight survival – yet the visitors will sense an opportunity of their own.

Bordeaux have endured a tumultuous season with Les Girondins’ atrocious rearguard the main source of pain.

The six-time French champions have recorded a solitary shutout, conceding an eye-watering 2.43 goals per game on average, yet David Guion’s group are providing a threat of their own in the final third, often leading to goal-heavy games.

Well aware we’re getting close to win-or-bust territory – Bordeaux are four points shy of the relegation play-off place and six points from absolute safety – Les Girondins should take a proactive approach.

With both sides seeing Sunday’s showdown as a winnable opportunity, an open and attacking encounter could be in the offing.

Therefore, Both Teams To Score has to be considered at 1.83 quotes.

It’s a selection that already boasts a 69% success rate in Bordeaux’s league dates, with the guests’ games averaging a huge 3.77 goals this term.

BTTS has also banked in 15 of Angers’ 21 tussles with teams in eighth and below, as well as 11 of Bordeaux’s 15 battles with bottom-half foes.

Ligue 1 itself is averaging 2.75 goals with 54% of fixtures producing Both Teams To Score profit putting the price on offer here pretty much in-line with league averages. But considering the circumstances, as well as the two teams’ less-than-impressive defences, both sides should be capable of obliging with the goal expectancy set at 2.55.

Bet Now


Hertha Berlin raised plenty of eyebrows when the floundering capital club turned to grizzled 68-year-old Felix Magath as their new head coach back in mid-March.

Winless in nine games following the winter break, and on a five-match losing streak, a major gear shift was required if the Berlin boys were to escape an embarrassing Bundesliga relegation.

“Felix Magath’s CV speaks for itself,” said Hertha sporting director Fredi Bobic following Magath’s appointment.

The former Fulham boss hadn’t held down a coaching role for five years yet German football holds the veteran chief in high regard having guided Bayern Munich to two doubles, as well as masterminding an unlikely meisterschale with Wolfsburg.

Despite missing his first fixture in charge through COVID, Magath’s made an immediate impact.

In just six weeks, Hertha have collected W3-D1-L2 under his watch to push Die Alte Dame four points clear of the relegation play-off place.

In fact, by the time Hertha return to the field on Saturday evening, they may already be safe depending on results elsewhere.

Hertha’s raucous fans will be hoping to propel their side to Bundesliga safety this weekend. 

But I’m still happy to back the Berlin outfit continuing their upswing against a Mainz side that have proven to be terrible travellers in 2021/22.

The visitors downed a heavily-rotated Bayern Munich last weekend on home soil yet the O-Fivers have suffered 12 defeats in their 16 away days this term, including a W1-D1-L6 return at teams currently below them.

Mainz have little left to play for and Magath has spoken candidly about his wish for Hertha to finish with a flourish, regardless of their survival status, starting Saturday.

Hertha have taken top honours in two of their three outings at the Olympiastadion under current management and have posted W5-D2-L2 when welcoming sides in eighth and below.

With that in mind, I’m quite happy to support Hertha Berlin +0 at 1.85 here. Operating in the same manner as the Draw No Bet market, a stalemate will see our stake returned as a push with a home success providing a full pay-out.

Recommended Bets

  • Both Teams To Score in Angers vs Bordeaux – 2 units @ 1.83
  • Hertha Berlin +0 in Hertha Berlin vs Mainz – 2 units @ 1.85

Watch Mark On this week’s edition of the Matchbook Football Podcast ⤵️

  • Subscribe to the Matchbook Betting Podcast here
  • Subscribe to the Matchbook Youtube channel here
  • Bookmark Mark O’Haire’s articles here