Rennes welcome the visitors Lyon in the French Ligue 1 – Round 31. The match will be held on Friday, March, 29th, at the Roazhon Park (Rennes).
Last year Rennes’ revival was mostly attributed to Sabri Lamouchi who indeed turned the leading piece in the well-set mechanism. This League 1 campaign sees something similar under Julien Stephan guidance – when he took the reign, Rennes did not boast their form but they managed to kick into gear shortly, and now they find themselves in the middle of the table and have chances to end in playoffs. After 27 rounds held, Rennes sit 9th in the standings with a tally of 40 points, and their handicap from the European spots may be covered by 1 win only. This campaign, the ‘Red and Blacks’ were successful in the Europa League, and the season turned best in the club’s history if we consider their European run. The team were not, frankly, impressive at the group stage – they lost twice to Dynamo Kyiv and managed to win the 2nd place only in the last round against Astana. That said, they managed to surprise in the 1/16 final – after the home draw against Betis (3:3), they could win in Sevilla by a scoreline of 3:1. Then, Rennes faced the more solid opponents, Arsenal (London). First, they contrived to register a sensational victory on their turf (3:1), but the miracle didn’t happen. In London, the ‘Gunners’ proved their superiority, having netted 3 unanswered goals to the French side. Still, there is no doubt that Rennes’ fans are thankful to their team for such a great season.
Lyon’s squad and management should not be embarrassed by their Champions League performance. Mind at the group stage, they won the 1st round against Manchester City and drawed 5 times afterwards. That record provided for the 2nd place, and the team advanced to 1/8 final. Fate brought Rennes together with Barcelona who, alongside Manchester City, are seen main candidates for the win in the tournament. The 1st encounter’s outcome was inspiring: the home 0:0 score is a workmanlike result. On the road, Lyon managed to score, but allowed 5 goals in response. The Catalan outfit celebrated a hammering, but they themselves admitted that the French did not deserve such a loss – Lyon did not shutout on their side clashing with a stronger side, and they are to be commended for this. After 28 rounds, Lyon count 50 points and run 3rd in the standings. It will be a challenge for the team to fight for silver medals with Lille, whereas the finally-into-gear Marseille should also be taken into account. Anyways, Lyon have a blistering attack, and only Morel is unwell, so, they will probably arrange their next Champions League pass.
The clash between Rennes and Lille proves to be rather interesting, and it will probably be one of the best matches this round. We might expect both teams attack, either side will look to play first, therefore, a number of goals must be there.
Prediction for the match: Over 2.5 goals.