Rennes stood ground impressively last round away at Marseille and in the end got an important victory (won 1-0). In the midweek Cup game Rennes also put up a great performance and won over Lille 2-0. They used the best team possible so a bit of tiredness may have accumulated, but they can compensate through the increased level of confidence.
Coach Montanier finally left attacking midfielder Kadir outside the first eleven. His form was very poor and was dragging down the entire team. His place was taken by Doucoure, the one who scored the winning goal against Marseille. Doucoure was also more involved in the defensive phase than Kadir. Judging by how Rennes looked last round, the prospects for Kadir aren’t that good…
Rennes’ performance is even more praiseworthy as striker Toivonen was only on the bench due to a minor injury suffered before the game.
Relegation woes seem to have woken Rennes up. Defensively they looked solid and gave away almost no open spaces, while upfront Rennes are now more inventive.
Most likely they will field the same lineup against Bastia, only with Toivonen instead of Oliveira.
Bastia’s coach Hantz surprised last round when stars Boudebouz and Cisse were left only on the bench. Coach Hantz often behaves like this in the attempt to punish players for poor performances and to prove that everyone must work to gain a place in the lineup.
Not really sure how much Cisse and Boudebouz actually understood, but for Bastia it worked as they started the game in force and seemed more determined than in previous 4 games combined. However away from home it’s an entire different story and very rarely we saw Bastia making big efforts in away games, especially now when the season is over for them, as they sit exactly in the middle of the table.
In comparison to last round Bastia will miss central midfielder Yatabare who is suspended.
At home, confident and very close to the relegation zone, Rennes should be able to get all points against an average side. Rennes to win at 1.98
UPDATE: Rennes will have to do without striker Oliverira (reserve usually). Bastia will miss captain Cahuzac.
Rennes: Costil, Ch.N’Diaye – Kana-Biyik, Armand, Danzé, Boye, Emerson, M’Bengue, Moreira – Bakayoko, Doucouré, Alessandrini, Makoun, Konradsen, Hunou, Kadir – Toivonen, Si.Romero, Grosicki
Bastia: Landreau, Vincensini – Palmieri, Squillaci, Modesto, D.Diakité, Harek, Djiku – Romaric, Ab.Keita, Sablé, Boudebouz, Khazri, Krasic – Ilan, Raspentino, Bruno, D.Cissé.