Arsenal make the short trip over the English Channel to Rennes on Thursday looking to extend their impressive record of having never lost away from home to French opposition. Can the Gunners ruin Stade Rennais’ solid home form and come away from France with a first leg advantage? They’re 21/20 to do just that.
Stade Rennais vs Arsenal
Europa League 2018-19
Venue: Roazhon Park
Date: 07 March 2019
Kick Off Time: 17:55 GMT
Referee: Udiano Mallenco (Spain)
Where to Watch: Live on BT Sport 3
Stade Rennais vs Arsenal – The Latest Betting Odds
Arsenal face a tricky first leg against Stade Rennais on Thursday evening, although the bookies still have them priced as favourites to win the match at 21/20. Rennes are as long as 3/1 to grab a win, with the draw available at odds of 12/5.
As we’ve touched on already, Arsenal have never lost away in France. With that in mind, odds of 1/4 for Arsenal or a Draw in the Double Chance market looks fair. It’s a safe option, but if you’re looking for better prices, read on.
A Weekend Off for Stade Rennais
Although the Gunners are favourites, their opponents were relaxing at the weekend whilst Arsenal were battling their North London rivals. Julien Stephan’s side’s match with Nimes was postponed so that they could enjoy some extra rest before Thursday's crunch game. Could the fresher legs play a telling part in this one?
Hatem Ben Arfa – Out to Prove a Point?
The lad with so much potential, which he sadly failed to live up to in the Premier League with Newcastle. After a decent spell at Nice, Hatem Ben Arfa was unable to find the target in 23 appearances for PSG. He moved to Rennes in September 2018 and has since scored five goals in 18 appearances.
He’s shown glimpses of the talent we all know he possesses in recent months, but he has the opportunity over two legs to show the world what he’s capable of. The manager during his spell at PSG? Yep, you guessed it, Unai Emery. He will want to get one over on him that’s for sure.
Hatem Ben Arfa Goalscorer Odds:
First Goalscorer – 7/1
Last Goalscorer – 7/1
Anytime Goalscorer – 11/5
Rennes vs Arsenal – Head to Head Record
They’ve never met in European competition. This will be the first ever competitive match between the two sides.
Team News – Injuries and Suspensions
Looking at the Rennes squad, Romain, Danze, Abdoulaye Diallo, Ludovic Baal, and Jordan Siebatcheu are all out injured. Hamari Traore is suspended for this one, but Benjamin Andre looks set to return after missing the last Europa League match due to suspension.
Arsenal may well opt for Ozil to replace Ramsey in midfield. The Welshman played most of the North London derby at the weekend, so the fresher legs of Ozil may get the nod from the start. Alexandre Lacazette will be missing for the foreseeable in this competition after he was sent off against BATE. He’s suspended for both legs.
Rennes Starting XI: Koubek, Zeffane, Silva, Mexer, Bensebaini, Sarr, Grenier, Andre, Ben Arfa, Niang, Hunou
Arsenal Starting XI: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Papastathopoulos, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Torreira, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Ozil, Aubameyang
Stade Rennais vs Arsenal – Prediction
Rennes haven’t lost at home in any competition since the start of December. With that said, a defeat seems unlikely if they’re at their best, but Arsenal are more than capable of scoring on the night. A draw at odds of 12/5 is worth backing.
Both teams to score is odds on at 8/11. It should be a tight game, but both sides will get a few chances. Expect them to each take at least one of those chances. BTTS is worth a few pennies at the price.
Key Facts and Stats:
- Arsenal have won each of their last nine ties against French opposition.
- The Gunners have ever lost an away game in France.
- Ismalia Sarr has been involved in five goals in the Europa League this season, which is more than any other Rennes player. He’s priced up at 27/11 to score at any point in the match on Thursday.