Really bad display from Ajaccio last round (1-1 away at Evian). In-fact not only last round, but in all games in 2014, except against PSG, Ajaccio were really disappointing. The only problem is that opponents Rennes are in almost the same situation, and that’s making this game difficult to predict.
Last round Ajaccio equalized in the dying moments, just like 2 rounds ago when they were the ones being equalized in the last seconds (1-1 against Sochaux).
It was a surprise to see Ajaccio taking a point from Evian last week. They were without keeper Ochoa, defensive midfielder Faty and play-maker Cavalli. These are all quite important players, and even if the actual performance in the field was not impressive, the draw is surely a confidence boost.
Ochoa, Faty and Cavally should all return for the game against Rennes.
Rennes were a bit lucky last round against Lyon. They scored early from a corner when the two teams were still learning about each-other. A red card for Lyon followed and the game ended there (Rennes won 2-0).
In the offensive department is where Rennes’ problems lie. Newly arrived striker Toivonen managed to score last round, but it was against a team playing in 10. Rennes concentrate mostly on building on the flanks and sending long balls for Toivonen. The problem is that most of those balls completely miss the target and never reach Rennes’ striker.
Left winger Alessandrini is in really poor for and recently everything he touches turns to ashes, while right winger Pitroipa suffered a morale blow, after a “done deal” with Premier League club Stoke City collapsed. Pitroipa wasn’t even in the squad last round because everyone thought he is already transferred out.
Rennes even transferred-in a replacement for him, young Ntep from Auxerre. Ntep is a hot prospect, but needs time to adapt at Rennes, in-fact to adapt in Ligue1 and gain the necessary experience.
Fullback Danze got out injured last round and is doubtful.
Only with long balls for Toivonen Rennes won’t be able to open up Ajaccio. Usually hosts concentrate many players in the defensive phase, so it will be a nightmare for Rennes’ wingers to even find the space to make the cross, or for Toivonen to receive the ball.
Anyone betting on Rennes on such low odds surely never watched them play… The value is on Ajaccio +0.5 at 1.74, but only low to medium stakes.