Valenciennes’ recent performances are a real letdown. They were totally outplayed last round at Reims and barely had a decent opportunity (lost 3-1).
Coach Jacobs kept the same players but changed the system again, concentrating more players in the center. It was useless as players still lacked confidence and the chances created were shy to say the least.
It will be even harder for Valenciennes this round as they will have to do without 2 regular central midfielders, Enza-Yamissi and Ducourtioux, both of them suspended. This will force Valenciennes to be more offensive, most likely start with both Dossevi and Melikson in the lineup (usually one of them is on the bench).
There’s also a high probability for a change in attitude. In this rythm Ligue2 seems to be just around the corner for Valenciennes, so a more aggressive approach is definitely needed. The only problem is that players are too limited in skills and it can actually backfire.
Just like Valenciennes, Rennes also failed last round, only that it happened on home ground, when they where in full confidence and everyone expected them to get a result (lost 2-0 to Reims).
Winger Alessandrini played about 1 hour, but all he did was lose a couple of balls. Play-maker Kadir couldn’t be original and copied Alessandrini and so on and so forth.
Young Ntep on the left side seemed to be the only one really trying. The bad news is that Ntep suffered a serious injury and will sit out for a couple of rounds. This will really hurt Rennes’ offensive phase, seeing that attacking players Alessandrini and Kadir aren’t in good form.
It will be a difficult encounter, both for the players and for those placing bets on it. In terms of desire and motivation Valenciennes will have the upper hand, but they always have major problems when trying apply the final touch.
It remains to be seen in Rennes will be able to speculate on counters given the poor offensive display last round.
UPDATE: 18 years old offensive midfielder Aziz Kabore could make his debut for Valenciennes. Rennes will welcome back Pitroipa and Romero who missed last round.
Valenciennes: Novaes, Penneteau – Ciss, Kagelmacher, Lala, Masuaku, Mater, Medjani, Nery, M.Traoré – Da Silva, M.Dossevi, Doumbia, Houri, Melikson, Ab.Kaboré – Nguette, Pujol, Waris
Rennes: Ndiaye, Costil – Kana-Biyik, Boye, Armand, Emerson, M’Bengue, Danzé – Bakayoko, Doucouré, Makoun, Kadir, Alessandrini, Konradsen – Toivonen, Grosicki, Pitroipa, Romero