I honestly tell you I don’t know what to make of Rennes anymore. They went from the best performance of the season (won 5-0 away at Toulouse) to barely touching the ball last round away at Bastia.
Rennes’ problem is one of attitude and confidence. They do not need a coach, they need to see a psychologist before each game to find some inspiration and prompt them to be more determined.
The atmosphere in the locker room seems to be a bit tense since central midfielder Feret refused to sign another contract, and will leave for free in the summer. A couple of seasons ago the name Feret was synonymous with Rennes and nobody could even imagine Rennes starting a game without him.
Now they rely only on summer signing Kadir as a playmaker, who is a fragile player (both figuratively and literary …) despite scoring a couple of goals (it was nothing more than opportunism).
On the wings Pitroipa and Alessandrini have alternating performances and go from being booed by own fans to attracting all the attention through great performances.
Rennes had a couple of regulars away on international duty this week. The most affected department is the defense with fullback M’Bengue, central defender Kana – Biyik and defensive midfielder Makoun serving their countries. Even if M’Bengue and Kana-Biyik haven’t really played they still traveled and participated at training.
Rennes will be without suspended defensive midfielder Bakayoko. The other central midfielder Pajot is still out injured. Luckily for them Doucoure could return from injury in which case will go straight into the lineup, but nothing is sure yet.
Bordeaux suffered a heavy defeat last round on home ground (lost 3-0 to Nantes). But believe it or not Bordeaux was the better team. They held possession and had more chances but lacked the killer instinct.
They have many talented offensive players but applying the final touch gives them headaches. There’s Maurice-Belay, Obraniak, Diabate, Saivet, Jussie, very skilled players and sooner or later Bordeaux will start bombarding opponents from every possible positions. Already there are glimpses of improvement in their play. We can see triangles created on small areas through fast and precise passes. These short repetitive passes can make a difference and take opponents out of play.
Crosses also play an important role in their tactics but unfortunately most the times they miss the target. Once in advantage on the flank Bordeaux should concentrate on delivering balls to the central midfielders coming from behind, and not send long balls inside the box.
I am positive that coach Gillot was aware of these issues and the international break provided him enough time to perfect the strategy.
They also had a couple of players away on international duty, but in their case the tiredness is distributed among all departments and not concentrated (striker Saivet, midfielder Sane, fullback Orban).
I find Rennes’ defense (and defensive midfielders) too slow to deal with a talented, fresh and determined Bordeaux.
Upfront relying only on moody Pitroipa and Alessandrini for creating chances will guarantee only headaches for Rennes.
At 1.70 for +0.5 the value definitely lies on Bordeaux.