Dec 2, 2020 at 5.55pm UK at Stadion FK Krasnodar
1 - 0
Berg (71')
Ramirez (23'), Wanderson (28')
FT(HT: 0-0)

N'Kemboanza Mike Christopher Nzonzi (22'), Lea Siliki (53')

Preview: FC Krasnodar vs. Rennes - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: FC Krasnodar vs. Rennes - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:424449: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between FC Krasnodar and Rennes, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides whose Champions League dreams have already been dashed will lock horns in the penultimate round of group matches as FC Krasnodar play host to Rennes on Wednesday.

Both teams boast a measly one point from four games in Group E and are in a two-horse race to seal third place and a spot in the Europa League.

Match preview

Champions League Group E has gone exactly as expected; Chelsea and Sevilla have already secured a route into the knockout stages while Krasnodar and Rennes have been left languishing in third and fourth respectively heading into matchweek five.

To say that Krasnodar have gone down without a fight would be wholly inaccurate - two very close encounters with Sevilla both ended in narrow defeats - but the scoreline in the top-left corner is what counts and the Russian outfit will be desperate for that elusive first victory this week.

Murad Musaev's side were no match for Chelsea in matchweek two, but Krasnodar managed to hold Rennes to a draw in their first group-stage game and gave Sevilla two scares at home and away, but the Spanish side ultimately triumphed 3-2 on their own turf before a 2-1 victory in Russia.

Musaev's men have shipped a group-high 10 goals heading into the midweek round of fixtures, but owing to Cristian Ramirez's strike at Roazhon Park in their first meeting with Rennes, Krasnodar sit above the French outfit based on head-to-head away goals.

That will give the Krasnodar faithful some much-needed confidence, but the Russian side have endured a horror show of results before and after Halloween - losing seven of their last eight in all competitions and succumbing to a 1-0 defeat to Khimki at the weekend.

Rennes are a side needing a desperate turnaround in fortunes as well, and while Julien Stephan's men finally ended their torrid losing run at the weekend, it was not a result to boast about whatsoever.

A struggling Strasbourg side played the entire second half with 10 men after Stefan Mitrovic deservedly saw red, and Rennes had to rely on an Adrien Hunou header to salvage a point after Adrien Thomasson opened the scoring in the first half.

James Lea Siliki spurned a golden opportunity to win the game right at the death for Rennes, who are now five games without a win in all competitions, and Stephan must arrest his side's worrying slump lest they risk slipping out of contention for a European berth.

Like Krasnodar, Rennes have only taken one point from a possible 12 in the Champions League, but it would be harsh to say that Les Rouge et Noir did not deserve something from their encounter with Chelsea last week.

Stephan's men gave a terrific account of themselves against the Blues and were on course for a point with seconds remaining, but Olivier Giroud powered a header home in the dying embers to leave Rennes rooted to the bottom of Group E ahead of their long journey to Russia.

FC Krasnodar Champions League form: WWDLLL
FC Krasnodar form (all competitions): LLLWLL

Rennes Champions League form: DLLL
Rennes form (all competitions): WLLLLD

Team News

Krasnodar goalkeeper Matvey Safonov continues to self-isolate after contracting coronavirus, while midfielder Tonny Vilhena is unlikely to feature after he sustained a leg injury at the weekend.

Dmitri Stotskiy and Sergey Petrov's absences means that Igor Smolkinov is guaranteed another start at right-back, which will also see the veteran Evgeniy Gorodov deputise in goal for Safonov.

Wanderson is pushing for a start on the right flank, while ex-Arsenal player Kristoffer Olsson should come in to replace the injured Vilhena in midfield.

Rennes centre-back Nayef Aguerd is yet to recover from illness, while Daniele Rugani is also expected to remain sidelined for another two weeks with a thigh issue.

Faitout Maouassa lasted just 45 minutes on his return from injury against Strasbourg, and 19-year-old Adrien Truffert may be handed another start in Europe should Stephan not take any risks over Maouassa's fitness.

Hunou has staked his claim for a starting place with his equaliser against Strasbourg, and with Serhou Guirassy taking a knock to the ankle in the draw with Strasbourg, Hunou could be handed a rare opportunity to impress from the off.

FC Krasnodar possible starting lineup:
Gorodov; Smolkinov, Kaio, Martynovich, Ramirez; Olsson, Gazinskiy; Wanderson, Cabella, Claesson; Ari

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Traore, Nyamsi, Da Silva, Truffert; Nzonzi, Bourigeaud, Lea Siliki; Del Castillo, Hunou, Gboho

We say: FC Krasnodar 2-1 Rennes

Both Krasnodar and Rennes are evidently struggling to cope with the demands of domestic and continental exploits amid a truly unforgiving schedule, and the respective managers may not be so keen to compete in a Europa League tournament which they will certainly not win. However, pride is still on the line this week and both sets of players will want to give their supporters something to cheer about, and while it is sure to be close, we think Krasnodar will finally get off the mark in the group with a slender win.

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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