MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 06:53:54| >> :600:2417454:2417454:
Oct 4, 2020 at 4pm UK at Route de Lorient
RennesRennes
2-2
ReimsReims
Raphinha (24'), Da Silva (37')
Da Silva (35'), Tait (38'), Camavinga (55'), Aguerd (90+3')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Abdelhamid (11'), Dia (66')
Faes (40'), Chavalerin (57'), Munetsi (71')

Preview: Rennes vs. Reims - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Rennes and Reims, including team news and predicted lineups.

Early Ligue 1 leaders Rennes will be looking to record a fifth consecutive victory in the French top flight when they play host to lowly Reims on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts brushed fellow high-flyers Saint-Etienne aside with ease last weekend, while Reims were put to the sword by champions Paris Saint-Germain in gameweek five.


Match preview

Rennes manager Julien Stephan on the touchline in the Europa League on February 14, 2019.© Reuters

Many fans were expecting Saint-Etienne's showdown with Rennes to serve up a closely-fought and intense battle between the league's top two sides, but Rennes asserted their dominance throughout the match and ran out comfortable winners.

Goals from Nayef Aguerd, Serhou Guirassy and substitute Adrien Hunou saw Julien Stephan's men navigate the top-of-the-table clash with no trouble whatsoever, and Rennes have now taken 13 points from a possible 15 in the early stages of the 2020-21 campaign.

The crushing victory over Saint-Etienne came just a week after Stephan's men had stamped their authority on fellow high-flyers Monaco, and Rennes are now looking ahead to a run of four fixtures that they will be expected to take maximum points from.

Indeed, Les Rouge et Noir's clash with Reims is followed up by games against Dijon, Angers and Brest after the international break, and the real challenge begins thereafter with PSG waiting to welcome the early leaders to the Parc des Princes in November.

Second-placed Lille will be expected to beat Strasbourg on Sunday, but should Les Dogues suffer a shock defeat, Rennes can open up a five-point gap at the top of the table with a victory over Reims.

Reims head coach David Guion pictured in January 2019© Reuters

Reims made history last season by qualifying for European competition for the first time in 57 years, but David Guion's side have the look of relegation candidates rather than European challengers this season.

Indeed, Les Rouges et Blancs have now lost their last four on the bounce in Ligue 1 - the only side in the division who have endured such a run - and Reims' Europa League venture ended at the hands of Hungarian outfit Fehervar on penalties in the third qualifying round last week.

While the European exit is sure to dampen the spirits of the Reims faithful, Guion's men can now focus all their attention on the domestic campaign as they aspire to turn their fortunes around and record a first victory of the season.

Reims were never expected to take points off a PSG side seemingly back to their best, and a double from Mauro Icardi saw the champions walk away with all three points in routine fashion against the strugglers last Sunday.

However, there is cause for optimism for the visitors heading into Sunday's showdown with Rennes, as Reims have won the last four meetings between the two sides, including two 1-0 victories in the 2019-20 campaign.

Rennes Ligue 1 form: DWWWW

Reims Ligue 1 form: DLLLL
Reims form (all competitions): LLWLLL


Team News

Stade Rennes' M'Baye Niang celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 18, 2019© Reuters

Rennes have recently welcomed goalkeeper Alfred Gomis to the club from fellow Ligue 1 side Dijon, and the 27-year-old is in line to make his debut after coming in to replace Edouard Mendy.

Hamari Traore is expected to continue at left-back in the absence of Faitout Maouassa, while Rennes have reportedly rejected a bid from West Bromwich Albion for Mbaye Niang.

Raphinha will be hoping to earn a recall to the right flank in what could be the one of two alterations that Stephan makes for the visit of Reims, with Romain Salin set to drop down to the bench following the arrival of Gomis.

As for Reims, Marshall Munetsi is available after missing out the loss to PSG due to suspension, and the midfielder could come straight back into the first XI over Moreto Cassama, while Wout Faes also returns from a suspension of his own.

Moussa Doumbia is still out with a shoulder problem, but other than that the visitors have a clean bill of health for their visit to the league leaders.

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Soppy, Aguerd, Da Silva, Traore; Nzonzi, Camavinga, Bourigeaud; Raphinha, Guirassy, Terrier

Reims possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Foket, Faes, Abdelhamid, Konan; Munetsi; Kutesa, Chavalerin, Berisha, Zeneli; Dia


SM words green background

We say: Rennes 3-0 Reims

Reims can boast an excellent record against Rennes over the past two seasons, but their winning streak against Stephan's men is sure to end here. Rennes are enjoying a fantastic spell of early-season form and have already chalked up a joint-high 12 goals this season, so we cannot see any other result than a straightforward victory for the table-toppers.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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Tables
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1 382411364234183
2 38264886285882
3 38246876423478
4 382210681433876
5 381612105447760
6 3816101252401258
7 381512115554157
8 381412126062-254
9 38157165053-352
10 381211154448-447
11 381210164254-1246
12 38136194256-1445
13 38128184058-1844
14 38915144250-842
15 38119184958-942
16 38119185068-1842
17 38118195066-1641
18 38913164755-840
19 3898214071-3135
20 3849252573-4821

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