Rennes lack a winning mentality and this may be the primary reason preventing them from finishing in the upper half of the table.
Last round away at Nantes they opened the score early in the first half and afterwards simply embraced opponents’ dominance. It was of course expected for Rennes to crack under pressure and start making mistakes in defense. Fullback M’Bengue often got played, same as central defender Armand who even scored an own goal (finihed 1-1).
By the time Rennes woke up in second half and started pushing again it was already too late. Habibou played in the striker position, showed increased playing appetite, scored twice but the referee canceled both his goals.
Although at times there was good movement upfront (actions carried in speed and ingenious passes) Rennes’ offensive attempts were not that convincing.
Rennes will welcome back important winger Ntep who was suspended last round.
Lorient started in force the game against PSG last week. Especially in the first half they were more determined than opponents and seem to be in numerical superiority due to constant efforts (Lorient were leading 1-0 at half time). But they are only humans and tiredness installed in 2nd half. Opponents confidently increased efforts, took charge of the game and managed to win it in the end (PSG won 2-1).
Central defender Lautoa was out injured and Wachter was the one replacing him. Wachter often bump heads with keeper Lecomte and seemed to annoy all teammates. In-spite of that, he played for the entire game as possible replacement Bellugou is also a hesitant player. Lautoa will be back for this game but will need some time to adjust after sitting out a couple of rounds.
Winger Sunu was Lorient’s best player last month but in-spite of that he was only on the bench last round. Coach Ripoll preferred to upgrade fullback Guerreiro to the winger position. Guerreiro made a decent game, scored a goal, took part in many actions, had a couple of successful interventions, but still Lorient would be much more powerful with Guerreiro as left fullback and Sunu as left winger.
Striker Ayew delivered an assist but overall had a poor performance. He is slow and always turns around looking for teammates behind him. When he decides to advance alone he can easily miss 1 on 1 with the keeper, like it happened against PSG.
Rennes may not be constant in efforts, but form, confidence, chemistry and superior skills should be enough to assure the win. Rennes -0.5 at 2.00
UPDATE: Lorient welcome back defender Lautoa and winger Barthelme. Same bet
Rennes: Costil, Sorin – Armand, Danzé, Diagne, Mexer, M’Bengue – B.André, S.Moreira, Konradsen, G.Fernandes, A.Doucouré, Pajot, Hunou, Prcic, Allée – Hosiner, Grosicki, Habibou, Pedro Henrique, Ntep
Lorient: Lecomte, Chaigneau, Audard – Gassama, Pedrinho, Lautoa, Wachter, Bellugou, L.Koné, Guerreiro, Le Goff – Abdullah, Mostefa, Mesloub, Sunu, Jouffre, Lavigne, Barthelmé – Jeannot, J.Ayew, F.Robert