After winning 3-1 over St Etienne at the beginning of December, Rennes seemed to be getting on the right track.
But it was a false perception as they recorded 4 straight losses after mediocre performances.
[restrict paid=true level=1]That win over St Etienne still meant a lot, boosted morale, but unfortunately for Rennes it came a bit too late, as they were already exhausted after a disappointing first half of the season.
There are a couple of players that are exponential for Rennes, like central defenders Armand and Kana-Biyik, defensive midfielder Makoun, attacking midfielder Kadir, and wingers Alessandrini and Pitroipa.
It took a while for all those players to reach maximum form and be available in the same time. Whenever at least 1 of them is injured or out-of-form Rennes can suffer.
Central midfielder Konradsen will be back after injury. He may go straight into the lineup as his efforts in last rounds were greatly appreciated. According to latest reports attacking midfielder Kadir should also return after injury.
Rennes concentrate mostly on building actions on the wings where Alessandrini and Pitroipa are superior to most opponents both in speed and ball control.
Rennes’ predilection for playing on the flanks will undoubtedly be decisive against a team like Valenciennes.
Valenciennes’ coach Jacobs made some weird choices lately. He converted a fullback to the left wing position (Masuaku) and a central midfielder to the right wing position (Ducourtioux). They’ve been playing like this for a couple of rounds already but still players are disorientated and unable to create anything on the flanks. They often get caught on the wrong foot as wingers lose the ball quite frequently and can’t keep up with opponents.
Left winger Masuaku will be suspended for this game and most likely we will see another fullback taking his position, Nery who is even less accustomed with the offensive play.
Having opponents like wingers Alessandrini and Pitroipa will prove to be a calamity for Valenciennes.
Offensively guests are one of the poorest teams in Ligue1. Experienced and talented striker Pujol is still injured and they will have to choose between Le Tallec, Bahebeck and N’Guette. To be honest I find 19 years old N’Guette to be the most dangerous of them all, but he severally lacks experience and vision.
Attacking midfielder Dossevi, who is maybe the most gifted player at Valenciennes in this moment, is pursued by Rennes and most probably a transfer will occur this winter. Dossevi is unhappy with the lack of confidence coming from Valenciennes’ coach Jacobs and a transfer has been on his mind ever since Jacobs arrived. The deal is almost done, so there is absolutely nothing to motivate Dossevi for this game…
Rennes should qualify for the next round of the French Cup without much emotions. Rennes to win at 1.80 with medium stakes. [/restrict]