Rennes had a clear objective last round, to close ranks and defend against St Etienne’s siege. In the end the siege proved to be more of a moderate pressure but nevertheless Rennes’ plan worked out.
All defenders made a solid game, especially central defender Boye who replaced Kana-Biyik after he was left outside the squad as a punishment for recent performances.
The three central midfielders were constantly involved in the defensive phase and this made life a living hell for opponents. When midfielders and defenders got outplayed keeper Costil made sure the sheet stays clean.
Upfront Rennes never really bothered St Etienne, but this doesn’t necessarily means they lack firepower or creativity but instead they concentrated most of the resources in defense.
Striker Toivonen missed last round and he is also doubtful ahead of this game.
Lorient took part in an amazing 8 goals thriller last round (4-4 against Montpellier). Even if they played against 10 men for more than one hour Lorient could barely equalize in the dying second of the game.
Defensively Lorient were superficial and lazy. Defenders didn’t even tried to make the effort of following opponents with their eyes, not to mention running after them. Keeper Audard was also very uninspired and the ball simply appeared to pass through his hands like in a Harry Potter movie.
In-spite scoring 4 goals Lorient were also kind of a let down offensively. Only when striker Aboubakar entered the scene (started as reserve and played only 30 minutes) Lorient started pushing harder and had some real chances. Aboubakar delivered and assist and scored twice in the final moments and was the sole responsible for the point Lorient won…
With only one player in-form and willing to make efforts Lorient won’t be able to get anything from Rennes, especially with hosts having a good level of discipline and being very meticulous. Rennes to win at 2.03
UPDATE: Rennes welcome back forward Toivonen. Central midfielder Coutadeur returns after injury for Lorient.
Rennes: Costil, Ch.N’Diaye – Armand, Boye, Kana-Biyik, Moreira, Hountondji – Doucouré, Féret, Alessandrini, Bakayoko, Makoun, Konradsen, Pajot, Kadir – Grosicki, Toivonen, N.Oliveira, Ntep
Lorient: Audard, Chaigneau – Pedrinho, Ecuele Manga, Guerreiro, Baca, Gassama, Lautoa – Bourillon, Coutadeur, Abdullah, Sunu, B.Pelé, Monnet-Paquet, Doukouré – Aboubakar, Aliadière, Al.Traoré