Rennes had a hesitant start in 2014. Judging solely by their performances this year, from a defensive point of view Rennes definitely belong in the upper half of the table. But offensively they lack the killer instinct and never take the right decision once near the penalty box.
Winger Pitroipa missed last round due to personal reasons and significantly reduced Rennes’ offensive potential. He should be back for the game against Evian.
Midfielder Feret suffered an injury and joined Pajot on the sidelines. Believe it or not I consider Feret’s injury a good thing as now Rennes will be able to resume with their playing style before the winter break, when Feret was only on the bench.
Rennes should play in the 4-2-3-1 system, with Pitroipa, Kadir, Alessandrini being the offensive midfielders. They could not play like this last round against Nice due to Pitroipa’s absence. Also Kadir was placed on the wing and not in the center where he feels more comfortable. As a consequence Rennes could barely put together a pass or two in Nice’s half.
Evian started 2014 in a disastrous manner. 4 games, 4 losses and only 2 goals scored. Those are only stats but the actual performance in the field seemed even worse.
The central defense is by far Evian’s weakest point. Both defenders are slow, lack intuition and power. Upfront things are a bit better but not by much. Ever since striker Berigaud returned from injury he was unable to pick up any form. He is just a pale shadow of the player we saw in the first rounds of the season.
Evian played a midweek game away at Troyes and got eliminated from the Cup (lost 3-1). They used the best team possible and surely some tiredness accumulated.
In comparison to last round central midfielder Tie Bi will miss through injury.
No matter how many problems Rennes may have upfront, scoring against Evian could prove to be a piece of cake. Rennes to win at the odds of 1.85 is definitely a great bet.