Quite a few players left Bastia during this summer and so far no replacements have been transferred.
Boudebouz, Sio, Gillet, Tallo, Diakite, Areola, Cisse, Ongenda and Ba left the squad. But besides playmaker Boudebouz, keeper Areola and fullback Diakite all the others weren’t regulars. Strikers Tallo and Sio each played about half the season but in the end they failed to adapt to Bastia’s playing style.
Even if midfielders did their job and continuously pushed the game forward Bastia struggled offensively last season because they lacked a striker with finishing skills. Brandao was suspended for most of the season and played only a few games but was a huge let down. He is a skilled and experienced player and hopefully will have a better season.
Once players achieve full potential Bastia’s midfield can be quite impressive, with wingers Kamano and Ayite on the sides and newly arrived Diallo in the center. They also have experienced wingers Danic and Mabolou on the bench who have good speed, ball control and even finishing skills.
With the exception of keeper Areola and fullback Diakite in defense Bastia will be in the same formula as last season.
So far Renens haven’t sold any important players but last week key winger Ntep received an offer valued at 14 mil EUR from Aston Villa, an offer most likely Rennes won’t refuse. Young Ntep was one of the most important players for Rennes last season and if somehow they would manage to keep him Rennes will definitely be a fierce rival for all Ligue1 clubs.
Rennes transferred-in left fullback Baal who was a key player for Lens last season. Baal was at the origins of most of Lens actions and if this season he will partner Ntep, Rennes’ left flank will simply be unstoppable.
Forward Sio also arrived at Rennes and he will compete with Swedish striker Toivonen for a place in the lineup. Stamina is a big plus for Sio so most probably he will often be preferred.
On paper Rennes may seem a bit more powerful but since Bastia are playing at home the balance can be restored. Both sides should enter the field in the same 4-2-3-1 formula making it easier to neutralize one another. Balanced game is foreseen and there are good chances for Bastia and Rennes to evenly split the points in the end.
UPDATE: Bastia will miss defender Cioni (suspended) and midfielder Keita (injured). Rennes’ key winger Ntep will sit our because of injury.
Bastia: Leca, Vincensini – Palmieri, Djiku, Modesto, Squillaci, Marange, Peybernes, Jebbour – L.Coulibaly, Cahuzac, S.Fofana, Danic, S.Diallo – Kamano, F.Ayité, Maboulou, Brandao
Rennes: Costil, Sorin – Mexer, Baal, P.Mendes, Lenjani, S.Armand, Moreira, Diagne, Danzé – B.André, G.Fernandes, Doucouré, Y.Sylla – P.Henrique, Sio, Toivonen, Grosicki