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Feb 11, 2022 at 8pm UK
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Preview: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Rennes - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Paris Saint-Germain will look to extend their unbeaten Ligue 1 run to 15 games when they get the weekend's action underway against high-flying Rennes on Friday evening.

The hosts return to the Parc des Princes on the back of a thrashing of the reigning champions but will now come up against the only side to have beaten them during this campaign.

Match preview

PSG extended their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 standings to 13 points in the final game of last weekend with an emphatic victory away at Lille.

Whilst Les Dogues' title defence has been fairly non-existent, they came into the game with a 13-game unbeaten run in front of their own fans and did find an equaliser through an acrobatic Sven Botman strike after Danilo Pereira had opened the scoring.

A second Ivo Grbic mistake of the night allowed the visitors to retake the lead through Presnel Kimpembe's first Ligue 1 goal - on his 140th appearance - and from there the floodgates opened, with Lionel Messi's second goal in France being followed by another for Danilo Pereira and a Kylian Mbappe stunner with the score 5-1 at the final whistle.

Despite the chasm to the rest of the league in terms of points, rumours continue to swirl surrounding the future of manager Mauricio Pochettino, with reports stating he could be heading for the exit as soon as March.

Much will depend on the Champions League fixture with Real Madrid, but first the Parisians must focus on getting revenge on the one team to have taken three points off them this season.

Back in October, Rennes shocked the table toppers - who had at that point won all seven of their opening league games - with goals a minute either side of half time earning them a 2-0 win.

That remains the last time PSG were beaten in the league, and Rennes have continued to exceed expectations for most of their campaign.

Pascal Gastien's side did suffer a dip with three consecutive losses around the winter break, but bounced back with a 6-0 thrashing of struggling Bordeaux and last weekend's 2-0 win at home to Brest moved them to within five points of the top three.

The result in October was also not a one-off - Les Rennais have won twice and lost just once in their four most recent encounters with PSG.

So, whilst they will remain cautious - and likely defensive - heading to the Parc, there is certainly reason also for some cautious optimism.

Paris Saint-Germain Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Paris Saint-Germain form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Rennes Ligue 1 form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Angel Di Maria was forced off during Sunday's win at Lille and, although the injury is not expected to be a long-term one, the Argentine will not be recovered in time for this match.

He joins Neymar (ankle), Sergio Ramos (calf), Mauro Icardi (foot) and Georginio Wijnaldum (ankle) on the sidelines.

Pochettino should, however, have Idrissa Gueye and Abdou Diallo fit and ready after their return from the Africa Cup of Nations as champions.

Another Senegalese returning from the tournament is Rennes goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, who looks set to return to his spot between the sticks.

Jeremy Doku, Romain Salin and Flavien Tait are doubts, though, whilst Jonas Martin will play despite picking up a suspension for yellow cards last time out as the ban will only come into effect against Troyes.

Paris Saint-Germain possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes; Danilo, Paredes, Verratti; Messi, Mbappe, Simons

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Traore, Omari, Aguerd, Meling; Majer, Martin, Santamaria; Bourigeaud, Laborde, Terrier

We say: Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Rennes

Rennes' victory earlier in the campaign was impressive and will certainly give PSG and Pochettino pause for thought, but they are on an impressive unbeaten run for a reason. Messi appears to be finding his feet in France and Mbappe shows no signs of slowing down. The hosts often concede and we suspect that may be the case again on this occasion, but we are backing them to score more and take all three points.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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