France Ligue 1 – Rennes v St Etienne Preview (4/12/16)

Rennes preview

  • Defeat against Lorient in midweek came somewhat out of the blue and was a surprise. They only have themselves to blame for missed chances.
  • The Brittany outfit have dropped down to seventh spot, but a win here could potentially move them up to fourth. They have an excellent 6-2-0 home record and are unbeaten at Roazhon Park under the guidance of Christian Gourcuff.
  • Squad condition is fine with only longer term absentees ruled out. Rennes have had a nice five day rest and should be fully refreshed ahead of this match.

St Etienne preview

  • Sainte have been very hot and cold recently. Their performances are very hard to predict and can range from one extreme to another. A good 2-1 win at Angers was followed up by a poor 0-0 at home vs OM.
  • Were it not for goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier, then Les Verts probably would’ve lost against Marseille. Not for the first time, he saved them on numerous occasions.
  • Sainte have only lost 1 of their last 5 away game and have a pretty good record at this stadium in recent years, so won’t fear anything in this trip.
  • Squad condition has been poor recently but there is a noticeable improvement in selection here. Virtually all of their attacking options are available which hasn’t always been the case in the last few weeks.

Conclusion & betting analysis

  • I have to say the performance of Sainte was worrying in midweek. They were outplayed by Marseille at home which isn’t exactly very encouraging. They’ve been known to produce a random stinker of a game before though and it wouldn’t surprise me if they rebounded.
  • Matches between these two are often very tight. The last five encounters have all ended under 2.5, with three of those ending directly 0-0.
  • Rennes are deserving favourites here and their home home record is excellent. There’s some temptation to back them on a -0.25 line but I sense this will be a tight contest. Sainte shouldn’t be underestimated.
  • They did a good job last Sunday in this region of France against Angers and I wouldn’t put it past them to do it again. Overall I’m happy to leave this game alone.

Prediction: 1-0

Recommended bet: None