Rennes were a bit fortunate to have won last round away at Lens (finished 1-0). After opening the score Rennes withdrew in defense (like they always do) and hoped for the better.
Opponents came close to equalizing a couple of times but thanks to the excellent reflexes of keeper Costil Rennes ended up getting all the points.
Midfielders Ntep, Doucoure and Henrique made a good game, were highly active and carried most of Rennes’ actions. Not the same can be said about lone striker Toivonen who was mostly invisible and was substituted early in the second half.
The spaces between defenders may have been too large but Rennes were lucky that keeper Costil had a great day and helped keep a clean sheet.
Metz understood there’s no way of staying in Ligue1 if they aren’t scoring goals. Last week against Evian they were more aggressive than usual, created more opportunities but unfortunately personal mistakes buried all their efforts (lost 2-1 to Evian).
The good news is that Metz finally found the net after 5 consecutive Ligue1 games in which they failed to score. The bad news is that there is no improvement in personal performances, players still make vital mistakes and any opponent of decent value can easily take advantage and corner Metz.
Metz missed their chance as they haven’t strengthen the squad during the winter break and now they can’t keep up anymore with the rythm imposed by Ligue1. By now all of Metz’s fans probably made peace with the thought that their beloved team will play in Ligue2 next season. Even if Rennes have a small team mentality and always withdraw in defense after finding the net, they should be safe against Metz and also able to exploit more of their personal errors. Rennes -0.75 at 2.19
UPDATE: Metz welcome back wingers Malouda and Ngabakoto
Rennes: squad not communicated yet
Metz: Carrasso, Oberhauser – Bussmann, Marchal, Métanire, Milan, Palomino, Rivierez – Doukouré, Krivets, Lejeune, N’Daw, Philipps, B.Sarr, Sassi, F.Malouda, Ngbakoto – Maïga