Coach Montanier made some weird choices last round away at Metz and despite dominating the entire game Rennes left with only one point (finished 0-0).
Winger Ntep, who is maybe their best player this month, was only on the bench and instead Brazilian Henrique started on the flank. Henrique has good speed but the levels of ball control and intuition are by far inferior in comparison to Ntep.
Striker Toivonen was injured (is doubtful again this round) and Hosiner started upfront. Hosiner is always in a hurry, he is always precipitated and makes the wrong choices. He used to be a top scorer when playing in Austria but in Ligue1 things are different and so far he failed to adapt.
There are good chances that both Hosiner and Pedro Henrique will be only on the bench this round and this will increase Rennes’ offensive potential.
Lille will arrive at Rennes after an exhausting Europa League encounter (0-0 vs Everton). Once again Lille showed how weak they are in the offensive department and how strong and stable they are in defense.
Attacking midfielders Martin and Mendes returned from injury, played for a couple of minutes and hopefully picked up some rythm. But even with them in top form, Lille lacks creativity and a striker with the killer instinct.
But in the same time it is really a tough task to open up Lille. They conceded only seven goals so far and have the best defense in Ligue1 (stats wise) alongside Nantes and PSG.
Neither side have impressive attacking abilities and there is a high possibility this game will be played mostly in midfield, with both teams waiting for opponents to make a mistake that will ease their job.
UPDATE: Rennes welcome back midfielder Konradsen after injury. Lille’s captain Mavuba was left home to rest.
Rennes: Costil, Sorin – Armand, Danzé, Diagne, Mexer, , M’Bengue, B.André – Konradsen, P.Henrique, G.Fernandes, A.Doucouré, Pajot, Prcic – Ntep, Hosiner, Grosicki, Habibou
Lille: Costil, Sorin – Armand, Danzé, Diagne, Mexer, , M’Bengue, B.André – Konradsen, P.Henrique, G.Fernandes, A.Doucouré, Pajot, Prcic – Ntep, Hosiner, Grosicki, Habibou