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May 16, 2021 at 8pm UK
Ben Yedder (16'), Golovin (29')
Badiashile (18'), Maripan (31')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Disasi (68' og.)
Bourigeaud (61'), Aguerd (70')
Da Silva (85')

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

:Headline: Preview: Monaco vs. Rennes - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Ligue 1 clash between Monaco and Rennes, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

A fascinating encounter awaits at the Stade Louis-II on Sunday night, as Champions League-chasing Monaco prepare for battle against European contenders Rennes in the penultimate gameweek in Ligue 1.

Les Monegasques boosted their chances of a third-placed finish by beating Reims last time out, while Rennes managed to take a point from their battle with reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Match preview

Wissam Ben Yedder is so often the one on hand to tap home from a swift Monaco attacking move, but the veteran forward turned provider for teenage starlet Eliot Matazo against Reims, as the 19-year-old could not miss after Ben Yedder's pass with 20 minutes on the clock.

Niko Kovac's staunch defence did what they did best - keep a clean sheet - as Monaco strengthened their stronghold on third place with victory over a struggling Reims, and it is not too late for Les Monegasques to push for a top-two finish with just two games remaining.

Any hopes of a title push were dashed when Lyon came out on top in a fiery encounter with Monaco a couple of weeks ago, but Kovac's side remain one point clear of Les Gones in the final Champions League spot, and they booked their place in the Coupe de France final by beating fourth-tier side Rumilly Vallieres 5-1 on Thursday night.

With their Ligue 1 title charge dead in the water, Monaco could yet end the season with silverware should they dethrone serial Coupe de France winners Paris Saint-Germain in next week's final, but they have big fish to fry in Ligue 1 too, as the visit of Rennes precedes a final-day trip to surprise package Lens.

Defeat to Lyon represents Monaco's only loss in seven in the top flight - winning the other six with six clean sheets to boot - and having scored at least twice in nine of their last 10 Ligue 1 home games, Genesio's resilient Rennes are in for a taxing evening.

There was an air of controversy surrounding Paris Saint-Germain's penalty at Roazhon Park last week, with Neymar just about managing to tuck home from the spot after Nayef Aguerd was adjudged to have fouled Layvin Kurzawa.

However, there was no debating Serhou Guirassy's bullet header which rescued a point for Les Rouge et Noir, and tempers flared in the dying embers as Presnel Kimpembe saw red for a rash challenge on Jeremy Doku, which led to an exchange of words in the tunnel after the full-time whistle.

While Rennes' momentum has taken a slight hit with that draw against PSG and defeat to Bordeaux, they remain firmly in the mix for a spot in Europe as they occupy seventh spot in the table - one point behind fellow continental hopefuls Marseille and Lens with two games to go.

Genesio's men will be expected to end the season with a flourish against Nimes on the final day, and they managed to secure two wins from three away from home before that shock defeat to Bordeaux, but they will certainly need other results to go their way if they want to break into the top five.

Julien Stephan managed to steer Rennes to a 2-1 win over Monaco in the early weeks of the season, but they have lost seven of their last 10 away to Les Monegasques, who have not failed to score at home against their upcoming opponents since January 2007.

Monaco Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Monaco form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Rennes Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D

Team News

Monaco youngster Willem Geubbels will serve the third and final game of a three-match suspension following his involvement in the mass brawl against Lyon, but Pietro Pellegri is available for selection once again.

The hosts are likely to remain without Stevan Jovetic and Sofiane Diop as they nurse calf and ankle issues respectively, while Krepin Diatta is yet to recover from a bout of COVID-19.

Kovac, as expected, made numerous changes for the midweek Coupe de France win, so the likes of Benjamin Lecomte, Aleksandr Golovin, Youssouf Fofana and Guillermo Maripan are all set to return this week.

Rennes' midfield will be boosted by the returns of Eduardo Camavinga and Steven N'Zonzi from suspension, meaning that 17-year-old Lesley Ugochukwu - despite an impressive 60 minutes - should make way after earning a start against PSG.

Jonas Martin is out for the season and doubts remain over left-back Adrien Truffert (groin), so Faitout Maouassa should continue in the visitors' rearguard for the time being.

Flavien Tait has become a mainstay of Genesio's midfield in recent weeks, so Benjamin Bourigeaud may drop out alongside Ugochukwu as Camavinga and Nzonzi come back in.

Monaco possible starting lineup:
Lecomte; Sidibe, Maripan, Badiashile, Henrique; Fofana, Tchouameni; Aguilar, Golovin, Volland; Ben Yedder

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Traore, Aguerd, Da Silva, Maouassa; Nzonzi, Camavinga, Tait; Doku, Guirassy, Terrier

We say: Monaco 2-1 Rennes

Monaco boss Kovac has plenty of options for change after a midweek stroll in the Coupe de France, and the likes of Ben Yedder and Kevin Volland need no lessons in putting the ball into the back of the net.

Rennes are undoubtedly heading in the right direction under Genesio and will hope to keep their own European aspirations alive, but we expect them to just fall short in this one.

Top 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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