Bruno Genesio's side played out a 2-2 stalemate with Reims last time out, while Nantes' hopes of survival suffered another blow in a 2-1 loss to Nice.
With seven points gleaned from their last three matches, Rennes' European charge is gathering momentum week after week, and Genesio has overseen plenty of positive changes at the club since succeeding Julien Stephan in the dugout.
The former Lyon manager has been helped by the return to form of target man Serhou Guirassy, who boasts three goals in his last two Ligue 1 matches, but the striker's brace was not enough to propel Rennes to victory against a dogged Reims outfit last time out.
Reims took the lead twice through a Boulaye Dia tap-in and Ghislain Konan's thunderous left-footed strike, but Guirassy restored parity on both occasions to salvage a point for Les Rouge et Noir, who now occupy seventh spot in the standings with just seven games left to play.
Only four points separate Rennes from fifth-placed Lens as things stand, although Montpellier HSC or Marseille could steer clear in the race for Europe during their fixture on Saturday, and Genesio's side now prepare to welcome Nantes to a ground where they failed to win in five before beating Strasbourg 1-0 on March 14.
Another inspired performance from Guirassy could go a long way into determining the victor of this tie, but Rennes have only kept two clean sheets from their 15 home games in the current Ligue 1 campaign, and their visiting rivals are desperate for all three points for an entirely different reason.
Antoine Kombouare is running out of time to preserve Nantes' Ligue 1 status, as his side fell victim to a Kasper Dolberg brace in a 2-1 defeat to Nice last time out, during which Abdoulaye Toure's goal just before half time was unable to inspire a second-half comeback at the Stade de la Beaujoire.
Raymond Domenech and Christian Gourcuff both tried and failed to pull Nantes out of their rut, and while the early signs were positive under Kombouare - including an unforgettable 2-1 win at the home of champions Paris Saint-Germain - Les Canaris continue to flirt with danger at this late stage.
Down in 19th place after 31 matches, Nantes find themselves four points adrift of safety having won just two of their last 22 games in the top flight, and their penchant for draws is doing them no favours either, as no team has played out more stalemates than Les Canaris' 13 during the 2020-21 campaign.
Even though Kombouare's men have managed to find the back of the net at least once in their last seven league matches, they have now gone 13 games without a clean sheet in Ligue 1, with their last shut-out coming in a goalless stalemate with upcoming opponents Rennes on January 6.
On the other hand, Nantes are unbeaten in their last four away games in Ligue 1 and could make it five for the first time since the 2016-17 campaign, but they have not come up trumps in any of their last six visits to Roazhon Park - most recently prevailing 3-1 in September 2013.
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Teenage starlet Jeremy Doku remains suspended for Rennes following his sending-off against Metz, but the hosts are in good shape otherwise for the Derby Breton.
The 30-year-old enjoyed a five-minute cameo last time out and could displace Flavien Tait here, while Eduardo Camavinga reassured supporters that he was OK after being forced off in the dying embers last weekend.
Kolo Muani has had a hand in all of Nantes' last three away goals and should line up alongside Moses Simon in the final third once more, although Kalifa Coulibaly's return to fitness has boosted Kombouare's options.
Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Traore, Aguerd, Da Silva, Truffert; Grenier, Nzonzi, Camavinga, Bourigeaud; Guirassy, Terrier
Nantes possible starting lineup:
Lafont; Corchia, Pallois, Girotto, Traore; Louza, Toure, Chirivella, Blas; Simon, Kolo Muani
We say: Rennes 2-1 Nantes
Nantes never seem to have any problems putting the ball into the back of the net, but their leaky defence continues to threaten their prospects of another season in the big time. Genesio is still finding his feet at Rennes, but he appears to have found the optimal formula for success as Les Rouge et Noir push for the final European spot, so we can only back another win for the in-form hosts.