By Eskender Tamrat
When: 2:00PM EST, Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
Where: Stade Gaston Gérard, Dijon, France
Betting Line: OFF
TV Coverage: beIN Sports
Coupe de France semi-finalists Angers SCO (11-6-16) will play at relegation-threatened Dijon FCO (6-11-16) on Saturday. Both sides are losing their grips in the league, with Dijon joining the bottom three and Angers saw their comfortable gap to the drop zone reduced to eight points.
Dijon could only beat Angers on one occasion – in a Ligue 2 match back in 2004 – in the previous 17 head-to-head meetings. There have been eight wins for Angers in the fixture and eight stalemates as well. Dijon took the lead at Angers in the sides' first meeting of the season in September, but the home side secured a comeback win with Famara Diédhiou, Karl Toko Ekambi and Cheikh Ndoye – now Angers' top three scorers – opening their league accounts for the campaign.
Chang-Hoon Kwon, Oussama Haddadi (thigh) and Vincent Rüfli (hamstring) are hoping to return to full fitness to feature for Dijon, while Pablo Martinez joined a long list of Angers' absentees.
Angers lost each of their three fixtures in April so far, including the last two against title contenders AS Monaco FC (24-5-3) and Paris Saint-Germain (24-5-4). Stéphane Moulin's side was not poor in both occasions, but the defeats left them with lingering questions whether there would be a relegation battle at Angers heading into the final month of the season.
The fixture list will continue to be tricky, as they still have to face the other two sides in top four – OGC Nice (21-10-2) and Olympique Lyonnais (17-3-12) – while games against Dijon FCO (6-11-16) and FC Lorient (9-4-20) will tip them against relegation zone sides. They will hope to find some comfort in the cup competition, as they host En Avant de Guingamp (12-8-13) next Tuesday for a place in the final.
The hard-fought draw at Olympique de Marseille (14-9-10) followed by two heartbreaking defeats for Dijon. They are now left only one place above cellar-dwellers SC Bastia (6-10-16), who beat them in their own yard, with two points deficit over both the relegation play-offs spot and safety zone.
The team who lost to the league's bottom side in the previous week came close to took points off champions-elect Monaco before Falcao's two late free-kicks proved to be the difference between the sides in contrasting fortunes. Dijon will only face one direct rival – AS Nancy (8-7-18) – and one top five side – FC Girondins de Bordeaux (14-10-9) – in the remaining five weeks of the season.
1. The four top scorers of Angers in the league all hail from West Africa. They netted 20 of Angers' 32 goals this season.
2. According to Squawka, only Montpellier's forward Steve Mounie (238) involved in more aerial duels than Angers' Cheikh Ndoye (185) and Dijon's Julio Tavares (121). The no-nonsense midfielder won a respectable 68% of the challenges, whereas Dijon's striker only came out on top in 49% of the times.
3. Alongside PSG, Dijon scored a league-high four goals from own goals by opposing teams.
Keeping the cup game in mind, Angers could even rest players on Saturday. For Dijon, this would be a great chance to revive their hopes, but let's bet on a goalless draw for this one.
Dijon 0, Angers 0
|Karl Toko Ekambi|
|THREE WAY ODDS||America's Bookie||williamhill||bet365||gtbets||guts||sportsinteraction||topbet|
| Angers |
| - |
| +220 |
| +210 |
| - |
| - |
| - |
| - |