Although they lost 1-0, Bastia weren’t bad at all last round away at St Etienne. They had a couple of dangerous goal scoring opportunities and the ease with which they managed to reach opponents’ penalty box was really impressive.
Fullback Diakite was once again Bastia’s best player. Besides being reliable in the defensive phase, Diakite was also the one initiating many actions. The ball circulated mostly on the route fullback Diakite – attacking midfielder Boudebouz – forward Tallo, but unfortunately Tallo is fresh after injury and needs to pick up some rythm.
On the right side Palmieri was very active and often put opponents in difficulty after actions created and finished entirely by himself.
In defense Bastia appeared highly organized last round and a powerful opponent like St Etienne didn’t had much space available for making maneuvers.
Rennes suffered a shameful defeat last round on home ground (lost 4-0 to Montpellier). This score totally reflects the huge mess on Rennes’ right flank. Fullback Danze is slower and more uninspired than ever. He was a sure victim in-front of Montpellier’s winger Mounier who scored once, delivered an assist and many key passes.
But Rennes also suffered in the offensive phase as talented left winger Ntep was thoroughly man marked and the attacking power diminished considerably.
Until last round Rennes was the most in-form clubs in Ligue1 with confidence running high, but after the shocking defeat all positive mental attributes were swept away and now Rennes need to start all over again.
Guests may once again miss midfielder Fernandes and forward Toivonen who are both doubtful.
The major battles will be carried down the flanks where Rennes’ hesitant fullback Danze will have to face highly active Palmieri, while Rennes most talented player (winger Ntep) will have confident and experienced Diakite as direct opponent. Bastia have advantage in both clashes and this should be seen in the final outcome. Bastia DNB at 2.14
UPDATE: Bastia will welcome back defender Squillaci and forward Cisse but will have to do without the services of winger Mabolou. Guests welcome back forward Toivonen but will miss midfielder Pajot. Same bet
Bastia: Areola, J-L.Leca – D.Diakité, Cioni, Squillaci, Modesto, Palmieri, Marange, Peybernes, Romaric – Gillet, Cahuzac, Boudebouz, F.Koné – Kamano, Ongenda, Tallo, D.Cissé
Rennes: Costil, Sorin – Danzé, Diagne, Armand, Mexer, M’Bengue, S.Moreira, B.André – Doucouré, Brüls, Konradsen, Prcic – Hosiner, Habibou, Ntep, Pedro Henrique, Toivonen