Rennes’ coach Montanier preferred a different approach last round away at Bordeaux (2-2 draw). He used 3 defensive minded central midfielders instead of 2 like he did most of the season so far.
It can’t really be said that it worked out for Rennes as the defense was looser than usual and the support provided for defenders was very limited.
Rennes’ defenders aren’t that agile, as a matter of fact they are quite slow and often get caught on the wrong foot. With no proper support from teammates Rennes are doomed to concede.
Last week at Bordeaux, Rennes haven’t really created that many chances, but they have been very pragmatic and efficient upfront. Great news as winger Alessandrini scored again confirming the good form and once again becoming a key player for Rennes (scored in the last 3 games).
The sole thing dragging Monaco down is their lack of experience. It is really annoying to see them creating chance after chance and then all of a sudden let opponents take full control of the game. The team was just formed this year but the season is almost over and the amateurish attitude still persists.
This is why Monaco concede quite often (0.84 goals per game). Another reason for the poor defensive display is the partnership in central defense Abidal – Carvalho. They are skilled players but at 34 and 35 they are quite slow and can be easily surprised.
In the upper half Monaco look really good even without striker Falcao. Play-maker Rodriguez is in excellent form after scoring twice last round and delivering an assist.
With both defenses moving in slow motion and attacking players having increased confidence there should be many scoring opportunities on both ends. Over 2.25 at 1.95
UPDATE: Rennes welcome back play-maker Feret after he’s been injured for more than a month. Fullback Kurzawa will return for Monaco after sitting out a couple of rounds through injury.
Rennes: Costil, Ch.N’Diaye – Kana-Biyik, Armand, Danzé, Boye, M’Bengue, Moreira – Doucouré, Alessandrini, Makoun, Konradsen, Pajot, Féret, Kadir – Toivonen, N.Oliveira, Grosicki
Monaco: Roma, Se.Romero, Subasic – Abdennour, Abidal, R.Carvalho, Fabinho, Isimat-Mirin, Kurzawa, Raggi – Dirar, Ferreira-Carrasco, Kondogbia, Moutinho, Obbadi, Ocampos, J.Rodriguez, Toulalan – Berbatov, Germain, Rivière, A.Martial