It seems this season Rennes changed formation and we will see them playing in a 5-3-2 system that can easily transform in 3-5-2 when doing the offensive phase.
On paper Rennes have an extremely powerful central defense with Mexer, Armand and Mendes but the reality in the field may be different just like it happened in the first round away at Bastia (Rennes lost 2-1).
Rennes’ fullbacks will often advance and participate in the offensive phase, especially Baal on the left side who should rapidly become a key player.
At the moment there are no news regrading the condition of winger Ntep who missed last round through injury. Aston Villa are pushing to transfer the talented winger and according to rumors they made a new offer and sweetened the deal.
Hosts may miss midfielder Doucoure who suffered an injury against Bastia.
Montpellier’s poor form and lack of fitness was the primary reason they got defeated last round by Angers (lost 2-0). All players seem to have rubber legs and they easily lose balance at the tiniest contact.
Montpellier’s central defense looked amateurish with Congre dodging balls like that was the purpose of the game and newly arrived Bensebaini not finding his place in the field. Hilton will return after being suspended last week and he should strengthen the defensive phase.
Attacking players weren’t any better and besides a couple of impressive, but unnecessary, dribbling moves from Boudebouz Montpellier’s attacking phase was a complete letdown.
Montpellier are doing now what the other teams did during the summer break, building playing relations and improving the fitness levels. They played only 2 friendlies this season because coach Courbis hates friendlies and had better things to do with his time. The tournament began but Montpellier are only now preparing for it. Rennes -0.5 at 2.20
UPDATE: Rennes’ midfielder Doucoure hasn’t recovered and will sit out just like winger Ntep. Montpellier welcome back defenders Hilton and Roussilon.
Rennes: Rennes : Costil, Sorin, Ab.Diallo – Mexer, Armand, P.Mendes, Danzé, Zeffane, Baal, S.Moreira – F.Diagne, M’Bengué, B.André, G.Fernandes, Y.Sylla, Lenjani; Konradsen, Hunou, Grosicki – Sio, Toivonen, P.Henrique, Saïd
Montpellier: Jourdren, Ligali – Congré, Hilton, B.Dabo, Bensebaini, W.Rémy, Roussillon, Deplagne – J.Marveaux, J.Martin, Boudebouz, Lasne – Mounier, S.Camara, Bérigaud, Mounié, Bakar, Cornette.