Rennes’ offensive potential in 2016 is really impressive and they have already been involved in a couple of high scoring encounters.
Young wingers Boga and Dembele are the new stars, they are extremely active in every game and eager to show off their skills. Sure, there is plenty of time for them to pick up experience and improve, but nobody can deny their skills.
Recently wingers Ntep and Grosicki returned from injury and the attacking potential skyrocketed. There won’t be place for everybody in the lineup, but hopefully coach Montanier will find the perfect formula and will mix youth’s exuberance with veteran’s experience.
Unfortunately in the defensive phase things seem to be at the opposite end. Defenders Mexer and Mendes are still injured and replacement Diagne is clearly having confidence issues. Last round he scored twice, but only because coach Montanier is aware of Diagne’s problems and insisted on him taking the penalties. He scored them both, but there was no real improvement in the defensive performance and Diagne was substituted at half time.
Diagne missed the Cup game due to injury (still doubtful), and was replaced by 18 years old Gnagnon who was also a bit disappointing (Rennes were eliminated by Ligue2 side Bourg, lost 3-1). Regardless if they use Diagne or Gnagnon, Rennes will suffer defensively.
Disappointing performance for Gazelec Ajaccio last week against Reims (finished 2-2). Ajaccio took the lead pretty early but soon found themselves under constant pressure, and in the end they were lucky to get away with 1 point.
Ajaccio’s major strength is the attacking phase, led by midfielder Larbi. Ajaccio are capable of fast paced actions, both down the flanks and in the center. Although they use only three offensive players, it is enough for Ajaccio to score at least once every game.
In the other part of the field things don’t look that good as defenders are soft, and even if midfielders constantly provide support, keeping a clean sheet is almost an impossible task for Ajaccio.
They did kept a clean sheet, but it was in the Cup, against Guinagmp, and Ajaccio qualified further thanks to a hat-trick from forward Boutaib (Ajaccio won 3-0).
With both sides in good offensive form this will be an open encounter with plenty of scoring opportunities. Bookies were caught off guard and the price on goals is really tasty.
Over 2.25 goals at 2.06
UPDATE: No surprises in the squads
Rennes : Costil, Sorin – S.Armand, Danzé, Diagne, Gnagnon, M’Bengue, S.Moreira, Zeffane – G.Fernandes, B.André, Doucouré, G.Fernandes, Y.Sylla, Quintero – Grosicki, O.Dembélé, Ntep, Sio, Boga
Gazelec Ajaccio: Maury, Goda – Sylla, Filippi, Bréchet, Mangane, Al.Touré, Martinez, Coeff – Ducourtioux, Le Moigne, Larbi, Youga, Poggi, Djokovic – Mayi, Boutaïb, Tshibumbu, Zoua