UEFA Europa League: Arsenal vs Rennes – preview, line-ups, prediction
According to bookmakers, Arsenal were considered one of the main favorites to win the tournament. However, the Londoners significantly complicated the task of reaching the quarter-finals in the first match with Rennes.
The Gunners opened the score in the starting minutes and were confidently controlling the course of the fight, but the problems of Unai Emery’s team began after Sokratis’ sent off. Rennes almost immediately equalized, and scored another 2 goals in the second half.
At the previous stage, Arsenal have already shown that they can achieve the desired result after an unsuccessful first match. However, it will be much more difficult for the team to recoup tonight. Though, a home victory over Manchester United (2:0) last weekend will add some confidence to Emery’s wards. Rennes will do everything possible to continue the most successful European Cup campaign in the history of the club.
Arsenal will be able to count on attacker Alexandre Lacazette in the second leg with Renn. The Frenchman managed to reduce the disqualification. However, defender Sokratis won’t help his team tonight. Rennes received personnel reinforcement before the second-leg match – defender Hamari Traoré and striker M’Baye Niang recovered from their injuries.
Arsenal: Cech – Lichsteiner, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal — Torreira, Xhaka – Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang — Lacazette
Rennes: Koubek — Traore, Mecher, Da Silva, Bensebaini — Grenier, Bourigeaud — Sarr, Ben Arfa, Niang — Hunou
Time: 20.00 GMT
Venue: Emirates, London
(Reporting by Nathan Dent, editing by Valerie Cooper)