Rennes are looking to launch a top-three bid against Bordeaux


Stade Rennais FC – Girondins de Bordeaux Sunday at 13:00 CET (1200 GMT)

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Rennes dropped five points from the Champions League places last weekend when they lost 1-0 away to RC Lens while OGC Nice and Olympique de Marseille both won. The latter also show a match less on the teams around them, and the risk is that Rennes will see their hopes of a podium vanish if they do not come out of their current slump.

The Bretons have lost their last three Ligue 1 Uber Eats outings, and four of their last five dating back to early December. They were also knocked out of the Coupe de France in the round of 16 on penalties by second-tier wrestlers AS Nancy-Lorraine, completing a miserable start to the year.

The Africa Cup of Nations is also impacting coach Bruno Genesio, with three of his squad’s four most-used players all currently absent from the tournament in Cameroon. Moroccan defender Nayef Aguerd, Senegalese goalkeeper Alfred Gomis and Malian right-back Hamari Traore are all key players for their club. Ghanaian winger Kamaldeen Sulemana is also absent.

Highlights: Rennes beaten by Lens

Genesio would also need to get Gaëtan Laborde back in shape up front. The striker scored 11 goals in his first 16 appearances for Rennes after signing with Montpellier Hérault SC. He has now gone seven games without finding the net and will be hoping for a return to form against another of his former clubs after Rennes headed into Matchday 21 just three points behind LOSC Lille in 10th place.

“Maybe we heard people say we were one of the best teams in France so much that we started to believe it,” Genesio said last week. “I think it’s time to get back to basics, like we did after our poor start to the season, and start playing as a team again.”

The Koscielny problem of Bordeaux

While Rennes still have a chance to qualify for the Champions League and qualify for the knockout stage of the Europa Conference League, Bordeaux are in a difficult situation towards the foot of the table and have plunged in recent days into a full force crisis.

The six-time champion, one of France’s most iconic clubs, saw their famous home unbeaten record against Marseille come to an end after 44 years last weekend. It was a result that left them just a point above the bottom three and unsurprisingly it has not gone down well with the club’s supporters, who are desperate to see their side compete towards the top of the table again. .

While coach Vladimir Petkovic received the vote of confidence, this week the club told former France international centre-back Laurent Koscielny that his services were no longer needed. “It has been decided that Laurent will not finish the season with us and will leave the club in January,” Bordeaux president Gérard Lopez told the local daily. South West.

Highlights: end of Bordeaux’s invincibility against Marseille

“I’m a footballer, so my passion is to play, and that means setting an example for my teammates as a captain,” Koscielny said. The Team. “So it was hard to take. It’s like a punch in the face. But I’m a fighter and I’ll keep fighting and doing what I have to do to stay at the top level and help the team. to get results.

Results are what Bordeaux, who have the worst defensive record in the division with 44 goals conceded, need more than anything. They’ve lost their last three games in all competitions, but at least they’re now emerging from a major coronavirus outbreak within the squad, meaning they’ve barely been able to field a team for their Champions League loss. France at Stade Brestois 29 two weeks ago.

Probable teams

Reindeer: Alemdar; Assignon, Omari, Badé, Meling; Bourigeaud, Santamaria, Majer; Doku, Laborde, Burrow

Bordeaux: costil; Pembélé, Gregersen, Mexer, Mangas; Adli, Lacoux, Sissokho, Oudin; Elis, Hwang

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