Last round St Etienne struggled to create a decent scoring opportunity, but in the end all their efforts were in vain (lost 1-0 to Lille).
Coach Galtier decided to rest key winger Hamouma but pretty soon he realized St Etienne couldn’t push the game forward at all without him.
St Etienne suffer in the offensive phase, both at building up play and also when it comes to applying the finishing touch. They don’t have a striker with killer instincts so midfielders make twice the efforts.
In defense they can be pretty solid, and if they will manage to strengthen the flanks (especially the right one), opponents won’t have any open spaces to exploit.
Hosts will welcome back defender Bayal-Sall who was suspended last round.
Poor performance from Rennes last round against Marseille (Marseille won 1-0). Rennes missed two key players, winger Ntep and forward Sio, and the attacking phase was crippled. Sio will return now after suspension but Ntep may miss once again.
Rennes have conceded 5 goals in the last 3 rounds and they seem to suffer a bit in the defensive phase. Central midfielders are easily outplayed, defenders seem a bit soft and even keeper Costil is not paying enough attention.
Upfront they have a couple of skilled players doing the offensive phase, and a bet against Rennes is always dangerous, especially if Ntep is in the lineup.
Most probably St Etienne will be the ones pushing the game forward, but they usually have difficulties in opening up opponents and rely primarily on long range attempts. If it happens, it won’t be the first time Rennes surprises on counters, so skipping the game is the best idea.
UPDATE: Rennes will be without defender Mexer and midfielders Zeffane, Grosicki and Ntep
St Etienne: Ruffier, Moulin – Polomat, F.Pogba, L.Perrin, Malcuit, Assou-Ekotto, B.Sall – Pajot, Corgnet, Cohade, Eysseric, Lemoine, Diomandé – Roux, Maupay, Hamouma, Monnet-Paquet
Rennes: Sorin, Costil – S.Armand, P.Mendes, S.Moreira, Diagne, Baal, Danzé, M’Bengue – B.André, Y.Sylla, G.Fernandes, Quintero, Toufiqui, Janvier – Sio, Boga, Pedro Henrique, O.Dembélé