When Rennes faces fellow European contenders Lille on Sunday afternoon at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, they will be looking to maintain their third-place standing in the Ligue 1 standings.
Les Dogues’ most recent game ended in a loss to Lyon, while Bruno Genesio’s team lost first place in their Europa League group after a draw with Larnaca.
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Lille vs Rennes Tips and Prediction
Last week at the Groupama Stadium, Paulo Fonseca’s Lille were denied a goal by a combination of the woodwork and Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes as Jonathan David was defeated by a rejuvenated Alexandre Lacazette.
Last weekend, the ex-Arsenal player connected on a low cross from Nicolas Tagliafico to score the game’s lone goal in the 74th minute. It was his eighth goal of the year, and Les Dogues had no answer, hurting their chances of qualifying for the European Championship.
After losing to Lyon, Lille’s three-game winning streak came to an end. Lille currently sits in seventh place in the table, five points outside of the Champions League spots but only two behind Marseille for the final Europa Conference League spot.
Lille’s 22 goals conceded are the most among top-half teams, and only Angers have allowed more goals at home than Lille’s. A season without playing in Europe would seem to be the ideal cure for Lille to restore order domestically, but Les Dogues have shipped more goals than any other top-half team.
Positively, Fonseca’s team hasn’t lost twice in a row in Ligue 1 this season and has won three straight at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy against tough opponents like Toulouse, Lens, and Monaco. Rennes will likely lose this game because of European fatigue.
On the final matchday of Group B of the Europa League, Fenerbahce and Rennes were equal for first place, and Rennes needed to overcome Larnaca to improve their prospects of them taking a lead in the group.
Fenerbahce performed as required against Dynamo Kiev, but Bruno Genesio’s club was obliged to accept second place and a difficult playoff match with one of the teams relegating from the Champions League when Larnaca held them to a draw.
Prior to their European disappointment, Les Rouges et Noir increased their winning streak in Ligue 1 to five games with a convincing victory over Montpellier HSC, usurping surprise package Lorient into the podium positions. Les Rouges et Noir are currently third but only ahead of Les Merlus on goal differential.
Rennes have gone 15 games without a loss in all competitions as Genesio works his attacking magic; the visitors have now scored in 18 straight games since a loss to Lorient on the opening day of the season. However, that draw with Larnaca was undoubtedly two points lost rather than one point gained.
There should be no room for sloppiness at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy because both teams have scored in each of Rennes’ last 13 away Ligue 1 games. Additionally, Lille has gone six games without losing in this matchup since a loss at Roazhon Park in May 2019.
This weekend, Rennes should focus on exploiting Lille’s understaffed left side, and Genesio will be anxious to see a response from his rotated team following their Europa League defeat.
We can only imagine this game ending all square because of the visitors’ chronic defensive problems on the road, Lille’s star player David, and because the hosts will be the more fresher of the two teams.