Rennes continued with the positive results after winning 1-0 away at Guingamp last round.
It’s been two months already since Rennes lost a game (2-1 vs Bordeaux back in September) and there are no signs that Rennes will take the foot off the gas. On the contrary, confidence is running high and all players seem to have achieved maximum potential. Central midfielder Doucoure and winger Ntep are Rennes’ heart and soul and they are simply on fire.
Both of them can dribble two or three players at a time and deliver precise assists. They are also involved in the finishing phase, especially Ntep who scored his 5th goal of the season last round.
Only striker Toivonen seemed a bit slow in comparison to his teammates. He was replaced early in the 2nd half and there are good chances he will be only on the bench this week.
Rennes will welcome back winger Henrique after suspension and he will add some speed on the right flank.
Nowadays Monaco are slowly improving after a hesitant start of the season. The lack of communication in defense was one of Monaco’s major problems and also using fullback Raggi as a central defender for about two months didn’t really help.
Now Abdennour alongside Carvalho make for a solid and reliable central defense. Keeper Subasic once in a while seems to be day dreaming, like it happened last round against Caen (finished 2-2), but he quickly makes amends, like it happened in the Champions League game against Leverekusen when Subasic had many excellent interventions (Monaco won 1-0).
Guests may be a bit tired after the Champions League game but the increased confidence and high morale can compensate for that. The victory over Leverekusen assured Monaco’s presence in Europe next spring (either Champions League or Europa League).
Monaco will miss midfielder Bakayoko through suspension, but there are no reasons to worry since Kondogbia will be the one replacing him.
Hosts won’t rush upfront and risk putting an end to the positive series and Monaco with increased levels of confidence shouldn’t have difficulties in resisting to moderate pressure. There are good chances points will be shared in the end.
UPDATE: Hosts will miss midfielder Prcic (he would have been only a reserve anyway). Monaco will once again miss fullback Kurzawa. Wingers Carrasco and forward Traore are in the squad but they are considered doubtful and their presence on the pitch is questionable.
Rennes: Costil, Sorin – Danzé, Diagne, Armand, Mexer, M’Bengue, Moreira – G.Fernandes, Doucouré, Pajot, Brüls, Konradsen – Hosiner, Habibou, Ntep, P.Henrique, Toivonen.
Monaco: Caillard, Stekelenburg, Subasic – Abdennour, R.Carvalho, Ab.Diallo, Echiejile, Fabinho, Raggi, Wallace – Dirar, Ferreira-Carrasco, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Ocampos, B.Silva, Toulalan – Berbatov, Germain, Martial, L.Traoré