Stade Rennes vs. AS Saint-Etienne / Ligue 1 – Out of fixtures for Sunday we have singled out a match of the 16th round of French Ligue 1, in which will meet two teams from the upper half of standings, sixth-positioned Rennes and nine-placed St. Etienne, which currently has two points fewer. The two teams met last time at this stadium in February this year and then the guests from St. Etienne won by 1-0, while before that Stade Rennes and St. Etienne had drawn even four times in a row. Begins: 04.12.2016 – 15:00 CET
Now, in Rennes they believe that the time has come for their victory over St. Etienne, especially as they play this season much better at home than away, so out of eight home matches they won even six and drew two. On the other hand, they won just one away match and drew another, while they were defeated even five times and received 15 goals, which is reason why they couldn’t move higher than the 6th position in the Ligue 1 standings.
Anyway, it is a fairly good result for them, especially as they have just one point fewer than fourth-placed Lyon, and on top of it we must not forget fact that Rennes had spent almost entire previous season in the lower half of standings, which tells us that arrival of new coach was a good thing for them. Regarding the team that will face St. Etienne, recovered midfielder Gourcuff will probably take his place in the starting line-up, but unlike him due to injuries are still out of actin stopper Mexer, midfielder Chantome and winger Said.
Probable lineups Stade Rennes: Costil – Danze, Mendes, Gnagnon, Baal – Andre, Hunou – Grosicki, Gourcuff, Ntep – Sio
St. Etienne is also in a fairly good mood ahead of this championship match against Rennes, given they lost just once in last 10 matches, which happened in the championship by leading Nice, while besides that they won four and drew even five times. Last week they played two matches in the Ligue 1 and St. Etienne won Angers away and drew at home with Marseille, which propelled them at the ninth position in the standings where they have just three points fewer than fourth-placed Lyon.
We believe that these results would be better if St. Etienne didn’t have number of obligations in the Europa League, where they qualified for the knockout phase after two wins and three draws. All what was left to be done there is to decide in showdown with Anderlecht in last round which team will win the first place in the group. Let’s add that stopper Lacoix is back in the team for this match against Rennes after expiration of suspension, while defender Malcuit is still suspended. Because of injuries again are out of action defender Pierre-Gabriel, midfielder Lemoine and forwards Beric and Roux.
Probable lineups AS Saint-Etienne: Ruffier – Theophile-Catherine, Perrin, Lacroix, M'Bengue – Veretout, Pajot – Tannane, Saivet, Monnet-Paquet – Hamouma
Stade Rennes – AS Saint-Etienne PICK
Having in mind that Rennes plays much better at home than away this season than it is quite logical why we have chosen to give them a slight advantage in this match against a bit tired St. Etienne.
Pick: Asian handicap 0 Rennes
Odds: 1.70 at interwetten (down to 1.65 can be played)