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May 21, 2022 at 8pm UK at Stade Lille-Metropole
2 - 2
Weah (11', 88')
Andre (25'), Sanches (57')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Bourigeaud (41'), Guirassy (90+2')
Truffert (43'), Omari (54')

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

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

Dethroned Ligue 1 champions Lille end their disappointing 2021-22 campaign at home to Champions League hopefuls Rennes on Saturday night at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

The hosts got the better of Nice in a confidence-boosting 3-1 rout last time out, while Les Rouge et Noir kept their Champions League hopes alive by beating Marseille 2-0.

Match preview

Lille's downhill struggle since the departure of Christophe Galtier has seen the 2020-21 champions languish in mid-table obscurity throughout the season, but Les Dogues were at least able to get one over their former manager during their trip to the Allianz Riviera.

Justin Kluivert's smart finish put Les Aiglons ahead, but Jonathan David ended his goal drought with a second-half brace before Timothy Weah rounded Walter Benitez to complete the job for Les Dogues, who ended Galtier's hopes of leading Nice into the Champions League next season.

However, Jocelyn Gourvennec's side will also not be present in the first, second or third tier of European football, as Les Dogues sit smack-bang in the middle of the table in 10th and can only rise as high as ninth on the final day, with Nantes only ahead of Les Dogues on goal difference.

The small consolation of a guaranteed top-half finish will not mask the disappointment of the underwhelming campaign for Lille, whose win against Nice represents only their second from their last eight in Ligue 1 - a streak that also includes four defeats from their last six.

The Stade Pierre-Mauroy has also not been kind to a Lille side who have only claimed two wins from their last nine on home turf in all competitions, and Rennes ought to come out all guns blazing while a top-three finish is still within reach.

Bruno Genesio may not have been able to lead Rennes past Leicester City in the Europa Conference League, but the 55-year-old's domestic exploits saw him crowned the Manager of the Year as he prays for results across the country to go his way this weekend.

Taking advantage of Dimitri Payet's absence through injury, Rennes eased to a 2-0 win over Marseille last time out through Benjamin Bourigeaud and Lovro Majer's first-half efforts - keeping their hopes of a top-three finish alive in the process.

Les Rouge et Noir start the day three points behind both Marseille and Monaco in fourth, so nothing less than a victory will do on Lille's turf, while they must also hope for a massive favour from Lens and/or Strasbourg to qualify for the Champions League.

On the other hand, Rennes could still plummet out of the top six as Nice and Strasbourg remain close behind, and they travel to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy without a Ligue 1 clean sheet away from home in 2022 - losing back-to-back away games to Strasbourg and Nantes in the past few weeks.

Genesio's men also came out second best in a 2-1 home defeat to Lille back in December - stretching their winless run against Les Dogues to five games - but the free-scoring visitors will prove a dangerous prospect as they fight for their European rights.

Lille Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

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

Team News

Lille's influential duo of Benjamin Andre and Sven Botman will both return from suspension for the final day of the season, with the latter seemingly set to pull on the Dogues shirt for the final time, while Renato Sanches has served a two-game ban of his own.

Xeka missed the win over Nice due to an ankle injury and may not be ready for the final day of the season either, while Angel Gomes was forced off at the Allianz Riviera but is not thought to be nursing anything serious.

Andre and Botman's returns should see Gourvennec shuffle the winning team from matchday 37, with Gomes and Gabriel Gudmundsson at risk of dropping out, while Jonathan Bamba will hope to return over Edon Zhegrova.

Meanwhile, Rennes should only have long-term absentee Jeremy Gelin unavailable for the final day, as Kamaldeen Sulemana could make his first senior appearance since February after returning from a back injury to feature for the club's reserve team.

Any minutes for the Ghanaian attacker are likely to come from the bench, though, as Genesio has no reason to alter the XI that comfortably dispatched Marseille last time out.

Martin Terrier will begin the day four goals behind Kylian Mbappe (25) and three worse off than Wissam Ben Yedder (24) in the hunt for the Golden Boot, and the 21-goal Frenchman will need nothing short of his best-ever performance to finish atop the pile now.

Lille possible starting lineup:
Jardim; Celik, Fonte, Botman, Djalo; Weah, Andre, Sanches, Bamba; David, Yilmaz

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Traore, Omari, Aguerd, Truffert; Majer, Santamaria, Tait; Bourigeaud, Laborde, Terrier

We say: Lille 1-2 Rennes

Lille's squad suddenly has a fuller feel to it as the trio of Sanches, Botman and Andre return from bans, but a somewhat makeshift XI still needed no second invitation to ease past Nice.

Rennes' ongoing defensive woes on the road is also a welcome statistic for the hosts, but the final third is where Genesio's side continue to excel, and we can only picture Les Rouge et Noir ending the season on top to take the Champions League race right down to the wire.

For additional data used by our team to analyse our suggested result please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals 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.Over 2.5:data

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