A short European trip to France is next for Arsenal as we look to get into the quarter finals of the Europa League. We face Stade Rennais FC at Roazhon Park with a capacity of just under 30,000. UEFA made a massive blunder with the arrangement of the fixture as Arsenal were drawn out first so should be playing at home first.
I think that was unfair as it changes the permutations of the tie with and there can be a difference from playing away or home first. That said, we cannot take anything for granted against a side who is currently sitting in 10th place in Ligue 1.
Rennes played out a exciting tie with Real Betis winning the tie 6-4 on Aggregate winning 3-1 away from home in the second leg. They do not have many well known players in their squad apart from M’Baye Niang and Hatem Ben Arfa. They have just qualified for the semi final of the French Cup.
Niang and Ben Arfa will be the danger men for Rennes, Ben Arfa is a tricky player and is creative and direct with running and Niang looks like he will pose a threat alongside Ismaila Sarr who is their top scorer.
Arsenal take a near full strength squad to France with Lacazette the only real absentee completing his suspension. Availability for the league games will mould the starting line up I believe so I expect Torreira and Aubameyang to start with the team rotated ahead of the massive game on sunday against Manchester Utd. I am sure Ozil will play in this game also as I expect the role swap with Ramsey at the weekend.
PREDICTION: Rennes 1 – 3 Arsenal
Victoria Concordia Crescit – Victory Through Harmony