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Preview: Lorient vs. Rennes - prediction, team news, lineups

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

High-flying Rennes take a short trip within Brittany to the Stade Yves Allainmat where they will face Lorient in a Breton derby on Sunday afternoon.

The visitors continue to exceed expectations, currently sitting third in the table, whilst their hosts come into the game on a very poor run of form.

Match preview

A reasonably positive start to the season is now a distant memory for Lorient, as their winless run was extended to seven games with a 1-0 loss at Angers last weekend.

The game was evenly matched for the most part, but Thomas Mangani's penalty in the 68th minute - after a foul on the edge of the area by Samuel Loric on his debut - was enough to secure all three points.

That result makes it just one win from Les Merlus' last 27 away league games, which is the fewest of any team in Europe's top five leagues who have been involved in the last two seasons.

The worrying statistics do not end there - Christophe Pelissier's side now also have the longest run without a win of any side in the division, and have dropped to 14th place, just two points above the relegation playoff position.

They must aim to turn this run of form around as soon as possible, but will be taking on a team high on confidence and a long way up the table on Sunday.

Aside from a brief flip in mid-September, where they suffered back-to-back 2-0 defeats against Reims and Marseille, Rennes have been producing the goods week in week out in both Ligue 1 and the Europa Conference League this season.

They have not tasted defeat since that loss at Marseille - a run of 12 games which has featured five straight victories and eight wins in the last 10.

Last weekend saw another comfortable 2-0 victory in the league, with first half goals from Martin Terrier and Lovro Majer putting Les Rennais in control and their defence of that lead made far easier when Montpellier were reduced to 10 men shortly before the break.

Things were less straightforward in Europe on Thursday, however, where a Gaetan Laborde hat-trick had put Rennes 3-1 up at home to Vitesse with just 20 minutes remaining, but two late goals saw the match end 3-3.

Bruno Genesio will have been disappointed to see his side throw away a win from a strong position, but they will surely remain confident heading into this game nonetheless.

Lorient Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

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

Rennes form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Team News

Lorient have a long list of injury doubts - if not confirmed absences as yet - with Thomas Monconduit (thigh), Vincent Le Goff (muscle), Jeremy Morel (muscle), Fabien Lemoine (calf) and Moritz Jenz (muscle) all expected to be out.

Pelissier will be able to welcome back Jerome Hergault, however, who has served his suspension and will come straight back into central midfield.

Rennes have three players returning from suspension - Warmed Omari, Baptiste Santamaria and Kamaldeen Sulemana - with the latter two expected to return to the starting XI.

Jeremy Doku came off the bench in the week, but it will likely be too soon to see the Belgian start from the first whistle.

Lorient possible starting lineup:
Nardi; Mendes, Laporte, Fontaine; Silva, Lauriente, Le Fee, Hergault, Boisgard; Moffi, Grbic

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Traore, Bade, Aguerd, Truffert; Bourigeaud, Martin, Santamaria, Sulemana; Terrier, Laborde

We say: Lorient 1-2 Rennes

Local derbies always throw a curveball into the mix but Rennes still go into this match as favourites. Eight victories in their last 10 games is too strong to ignore and Lorient look set to see their winless run continue.

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