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Apr 30, 2022 at 8pm UK at Route de Lorient
2 - 0
St Etienne
Majer (41', 84')
Martin (61')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Trauco (61'), Nade (65'), Gourna-Douath (67'), Macon (70')

Preview: Rennes vs. Saint-Etienne - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Two teams at contrasting ends of the Ligue 1 table meet at Roazhon Park on Saturday, when third-placed Rennes host 18th-placed Saint-Etienne, who are just two points away from safety.

Rennes are currently six points behind second spot while they risk falling out of the top five as they are only three points above Strasbourg in sixth, meaning that they have to finish the season strongly to secure their Champions League qualification place.

Match preview

Bruno Genesio's side suffered back-to-back defeats earlier this month, for the first time since the end of August, but they bounced back emphatically last time out, with a 5-0 win over Lorient.

That was a very comfortable outing for Rennes, whose goals came from Benjamin Bourigeaud, Martin Terrier, Hamari Traore, Flavien Tait and Gaetan Laborde.

Not only will the five goals have pleased Genesio last weekend, but their first clean sheet in 13 matches across all competitions would have been a welcome sight ahead of their last four games of the campaign.

Rennes have kept 12 clean sheets in their 34 league matches so far, a stat that is only bettered by Marseille and Nice, but having netted 75 goals, Saturday's hosts will be confident that they can outscore their visitors even if they do not manage to stop Saint-Etienne from scoring.

Pascal Dupraz's side have to bounce back from a heavy 4-1 defeat against Monaco last Saturday, when Saint-Etienne would have felt that they played well enough to secure at least a point, having dominated possession and created some good chances on goal.

The Stephanois need to limit the amount of chances they are allowing their opposition, though, having conceded 17 in their last five games, and they are in for another tough test defensively this weekend, given Rennes' powerful attack.

Three of their last four matches are against teams currently sat in the top half of Ligue 1, suggesting that Saint-Etienne will have to pull off some shock results, starting this Saturday, to avoid going into a relegation playoff.

After a fourth-placed finish in 2019, Saint-Etienne have declined in Ligue 1, finishing 17th and 11th in the seasons since then, and even though this campaign has been another year of disappointment for the club, they will have to salvage something in the remaining games of this season to avoid relegation.

This weekend's visitors need to improve on the last result that occurred in the reverse of this fixture in December, when Rennes secured a comfortable 5-0 win at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

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

Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L

Team News

Alfred Gomis, Jeremy Doku, Jeremy Gelin, Kamaldeen Sulemana and Loic Bade are all expected to return to full fitness next month, but this encounter is certain to have come too soon for the injured quintet.

Rennes centre-back Naif Aguerd can be added to that list of absentees for this weekend, after he was sent off last time out against Lorient, meaning that left-back Birger Meling could fill the gap in the heart of defence.

Bourigeaud was replaced by Lorenz Assignon in the second half last Saturday due to an injury to Bourigeaud, but he is expected to make a full return to fitness and be ready to start again in this outing.

Saint-Etienne's Aimen Moueffek, Enzo Crivelli and Saidou Sow will not be ready to feature in this match due to injury, but could return to the pitch by the end of the campaign.

The visitors will operate in a 3-4-3 formation, with Eliaquim Mangala expected to keep his place in the heart of the defensive trio, having come into the side last time out in place of youngster Abdoulaye Bakayoko.

Wahbi Khazri also returned to the starting 11, but Arnaud Nordin is likely to lineup alongside Ryad Boudebouz and Denis Bouanga in the forward line.

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Alemdar; Truffet, Meling, Omari, Traore; Tait, Santamaria, Majer; Terrier, Guirassy, Bourigeaud

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Bernardoni; Kolodziejczak, Mangala, Nade; Trauco, Gourna-Douath, Camara, Macon; Bouanga, Boudebouz, Nordin

We say: Rennes 2-0 Saint-Etienne

After a solid 5-0 win last time out, Rennes are expected to follow that up with another victory against a side in the bottom half of the table and low on confidence.

Their contrasting league positions make the hosts strong favourites for this tie, and Saint-Etienne are certain to be in for a tough test this weekend.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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 Win:curl

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