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247 News Around The World

Two sides looking to end dreadful spells of form will lock horns in Friday’s Ligue 1 encounter as Strasbourg welcome Rennes to the Stade de la Meinau.

The hosts suffered a 4-3 defeat to Montpellier in their last game, whereas Rennes faltered yet again in Europe as they lost 2-1 to Chelsea on their own turf.

Match preview

Strasbourg manager Thierry Laurey pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Losing at the home of Montpellier is nothing that Strasbourg should be ashamed of, especially given the manner of their performance which saw them chalk up three goals on the road through Kenny Lala, Habib Diallo and Ludovic Ajorque.

However, the defensive frailties of Les Coureurs were exposed once again as Montpellier struck four times to take the spoils, with Andy Delort keeping his strong early-season form going with a brace while Gaetan Laborde and Pedro Mendes also found the back of the net.

With a league-high 23 goals conceded in the French top flight – a tally that is only matched by Brest – it is no wonder that Strasbourg are languishing in 19th after 11 matches, with Dijon the only side to have accumulated fewer points than Les Coureurs at this stage.

Furthermore, Strasbourg’s sole victory on home soil this season was a narrow 1-0 triumph over Dijon back in September, but Rennes are a team in woeful form themselves, so Laurey’s men can afford to feel cautiously optimistic about their chances of picking up an imperative victory against the Champions League contenders.

Rennes head coach Julien Stephan pictured on November 4, 2020© Reuters

The less said about Rennes’s maiden venture in the Champions League, the better. Julien Stephan‘s men are still yet to taste victory in Europe’s elite competition, although Les Rouge et Noir did produce a spirited performance against Chelsea in midweek.

However, Rennes’s tenacity ultimately counted for nothing as Olivier Giroud marked his return to France with a last-gasp winner for the Blues, who had initially opened the scoring through Callum Hudson-Odoi before Serhou Guirassy powered in the equaliser with five minutes remaining.

Stephan’s side were on course to take a deserved point from Tuesday’s clash before Giroud headed home, and with a spot in the Europa League now the best that Les Rouge et Noir can hope for, Stephan will no doubt be focused on turning his side’s fortunes around in the league.

Rennes have now lost four on the trot in all competitions following their strong start to proceedings and have slowly slipped away from the leading pack, with Stephan’s men finding themselves down in seventh – six points adrift of leaders Paris Saint-Germain – ahead of Friday’s game with Strasbourg.

However, Rennes have recorded back-to-back 2-0 victories on Strasbourg’s turf over the past couple of seasons, while the two sides have not shared the spoils in this fixture since 2003.

Strasbourg Ligue 1 form: LLWLLL

Rennes Ligue 1 form: DDLWLL
Rennes form (all competitions): LWLLLL

Team News

Strasbourg goalkeeper Bingourou Kamara pictured in the 2019 Coupe de La Ligue final© Reuters

Veteran goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima is in line for another start in between the Strasbourg sticks in place of Bingourou Kamara, who has returned to training after a tendon injury but may not be risked on Friday.

Alexander Djiku is not expected to make his return to action just yet either, while Lebo Mothiba and Matz Sels are sidelined until 2021.

Laurey has no reason to drastically alter his XI in the final third, with Ajorque and Diallo now boasting seven goals and three assists between them in the 2020-21 campaign.

As for the visitors, Rennes were forced to make do without Nayef Aguerd for the loss to Chelsea due to illness, and with fellow centre-back Daniele Rugani still sidelined through injury, Gerzino Nyamsi should start alongside Damien Da Silva again.

Dalbert was suspended for the Chelsea game but is available here, although the Brazilian left-back will now find his spot under threat from the fit-again Faitout Maouassa.

Martin Terrier was left out of the squad entirely in midweek, but his absence was believed to be performance-related rather than any injury or fitness concerns.

Strasbourg possible starting lineup:
Kawashima; Lala, Simakan, Mitrovic, Caci; Aholou, Sissoko, Bellegarde; Thomasson; Diallo, Ajorque

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Traore, Nyamsi, Da Silva, Maouassa; Nzonzi, Camavinga, Bourigeaud; Del Castillo, Guirassy, Tait

SM words green background

We say: Strasbourg 1-2 Rennes

Neither Strasbourg nor Rennes supporters will be brimming with confidence heading into this bout, but it represents the perfect opportunity for both sides to arrest their slumps and kick on before the festive period. Rennes were unfortunate to lose in such disheartening circumstances against Chelsea, and while there will be some inevitable fatigue among Stephan’s crop, we think Les Rouge et Noir will finally return to winning ways on Friday.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

ID:423703:cQxSource: | This article originally belongs to Sportsmole.co.uk

The post Preview: Strasbourg vs. Rennes – prediction, team news, lineups appeared first on 247 News Around The World.

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