Preview - Nice vs Rennes 08 April 2018

Started by Harry85, Apr 07, 2018, 05:44 AM

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Match Day 32
Nice vs Rennes
Sunday, April 8th, 2018
22:00 pm (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Allianz Riviera

Last five matches form: D W W L W
Average goals per match: 1.35
Average goals against per match: 1.39
Top Scorer: Mario Balotelli (14)

Last five matches form: W W D W D
Average goals per match: 1.29
Average goals against per match: 1.19
Top Scorer: Wahbi Khazri (9)

A big battle towards the top of Ligue 1 this weekend as Nice welcome Rennes to the Allianz Riviera.

Both sides have European aspirations this season. Rennes are currently in the driving seat, sitting fifth and so occupying the final Europa League spot. Coming with a late charge though are Mario Balotelli's Nice outfit. Only a point adrift of Rennes in seventh, depending upon what Montpellier do this weekend, a win for the home side may see them move up into that coveted fifth position.

Considering the stage of the season, both managers must be pleased to have a relatively fit squad at their disposal. Christophe Jallet is the only player out for the home side, whilst Hamari Traoré is a slight doubt for the visitors.

Following something of a lean spell, Nice have picked up the pace again of late, winning three of their last four, with the only loss coming against PSG.

Rennes are also in good form at present though and are unlikely to relinquish their grip on fifth spot without a fight. Arriving here unbeaten in seven and having kept a clean sheet in three of their past four away outings, they will be confident of coming away with something.

Nice have been electric going forward in recent weeks, with Alassane Plea in particular catching the eye. They do leave themselves awfully open at the back at times though and we can just see them coming unstuck here against this in form Rennes outfit.

Prediction: Nice 1 - 2 Rennes


Half time: 1 - 1
Full time: 1 - 1
Shots: 10 - 9
Shots on target: 2 - 3
Corner Kicks: 5 - 2
Possession: 60% - 40%

Referee Jerome Brisard was just about the busiest man on the pitch here, dishing out yellow cards to Arnaud Souquet, Pierre Lees-Melou, Maxime Le Marchand and Dante of Nice and Jeremy Gelin, Wahbi Khazri, Ismaila Sarr and Benjamin Andre for Rennes.

Given the form he has been in of late, it should come as no surprise that it was Nice forward Alassane Plea who broke the deadlock here. Anything Plea hits seems to go in at the minute and when he unleashed a 25 yard effort from the left hand side in the 17th minute, there didn't initially appear to be too much danger. A big deflection off the back of defender Jeremy Gelin soon changed that though. The ball wrongfooting keeper Tomas Koubek and finding the bottom corner.

Rennes were level ten minutes later though. Mehdi Zeffane receiving the ball from a throw in on the right hand side and delivering a wicked low cross into the box. Benjamin Bourigeaud beat his marker to the ball to finish across the keeper from point blank range. 1-1 at half time.

Whereas the first half had been an evenly matched affair, it was the home side who were well on top in the second period. Nice recording twice as many shots as Rennes in the second half, with the visitors failing to register a single effort on target after the break. Rennes did however hang on for the point. Final score 1-1.

With Montpellier failing to beat Marseille in the late game, this point was enough to see Rennes hang on to the final Europa League qualifying spot in fifth, Nice remain just one point behind Rennes in seventh spot.

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