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Dec 12, 2021 at 2pm UK
RennesRennes
1-2
NiceNice
FT(HT: 0-1)
Dolberg (19' pen.), Atal (51')
Benitez (44'), Rosario (70'), Gouiri (81'), Boudaoui (90+1')

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

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

Having been granted a rare midweek rest, Rennes resume Ligue 1 action on Sunday with the visit of Nice to the Roazhon Park.

Bruno Genesio's side saw their Europa Conference League clash with Tottenham Hotspur postponed earlier this week, while Les Aiglons most recently went down 3-0 to Strasbourg.


Match preview

After an emotional Antonio Conte revealed that Tottenham had recorded a total of 13 positive coronavirus cases (eight players, five staff members), the decision was ultimately taken to postpone Rennes' visit to North London, with UEFA now scrambling to try to find a solution.

Rennes made their feelings clear on the matter with a short and sharp statement, but Genesio's men are already guaranteed to finish atop the group as winners and can focus all their energy on domestic exploits until a date for the fixture to be played is set in stone.

The rampant Rouge et Noir were responsible for the first managerial casualty of the Ligue 1 season last time out, as Martin Terrier's hat-trick, Lesley Ugochukwu's strike and Yvann Macon's own goal saw them thrash Saint-Etienne 5-0 before Claude Puel departed Les Verts.

Rennes are now Paris Saint-Germain's closest challengers at the top, but the second-placed Rouge et Noir are still 11 points adrift of the runaway leaders, while Marseille sit two points behind Genesio's side with a game in hand.

Victory over Saint-Etienne marked Rennes' fourth win from their last five in Ligue 1, and they have conceded a joint-low six home goals in domestic action all season, which does not bode well for a shell-shocked Nice outfit.

Bringing in the 2020-21 title-winning coach led to a new wave of optimism around Nice's Allianz Riviera, and the results and performances reflected that of a side with the wind in their sails under Christophe Galtier.

However, Les Aiglons have now gone three games without a win or a goal in Ligue 1, most recently being humbled 3-0 at home to Strasbourg courtesy of goals from Ludovic Ajorque, Habib Diallo and Adrien Thomasson.

An alarming downturn in fortunes has seen Nice win just one of their last five games in Ligue 1, and they have dropped to fourth in the table as a result - level on points with Lens and two adrift of Marseille having played a game more.

Les Aiglons have struggled time and time again on home turf, but they can take solace in the fact that their away form is the second-best in the division behind PSG, and only four goals conceded on the road is the best defensive record in the division.

Another much-needed positive for Nice is that Rennes have only won one of the last 12 Ligue 1 meetings between the sides - a 1-0 win at the Allianz Riviera last term - as Les Aiglons prevailed 2-1 at Roazhon Park back in February.

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

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

Nice Ligue 1 form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L



Team News

Rennes lost Terrier to injury after his stunning hat-trick in the drubbing of Saint-Etienne, but he is not reported to be nursing anything serious and should be fine here, which is more than can be said for fellow attacker Jeremy Doku.

The Liverpool-linked starlet is dealing with a knee injury and is likely to remain out alongside Birger Meling and Flavien Tait, with Jeremy Gelin a long-term ACL absentee.

It would be a surprise to see Genesio make many alterations from the thrashing of Les Verts, with Lovro Majer continuing in the middle after setting up all three of Terrier's strikes on the day.

Meanwhile, Nice will be forced to cope without Andy Delort owing to a one-game ban, which opens up a spot for Amine Gouiri to return to the final third.

Melvin Bard also came off injured in the Strasbourg defeat, so Hassane Kamara is ready to deputise if required, but Robson Bambu (ankle) is likely to miss out.

Youcef Atal and Dante could also be reintroduced to the backline, while Calvin Stengs's spot may be at risk as Hicham Boudaoui eyes a return to the midfield.

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

Nice possible starting lineup:
Benitez; Atal, Todibo, Dante, Kamara; Boudaoui, Lemina, Rosario, Kluivert; Gouiri, Delort


We say: Rennes 1-0 Nice

Rennes players may be relishing the extra rest they have been granted after the postponement of Wednesday's game, with Genesio needing his attackers firing on all cylinders against the league's best away defence.

Galtier will demand an immediate response to last week's setback, but the absence of Delort is a big blow, and we are backing Les Rouge et Noir to keep their momentum going with yet another triumph.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 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 2.5:data



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Ligue 1 Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Paris Saint-GermainPSG18143138162245
2Marseille1795325141132
3Rennes1894533161731
4Nice1894527161130
5Montpellier HSCMontpellier188462923628
6Lens187653226627
7StrasbourgStrasbourg1875634241026
8MonacoMonaco187562722526
9Angers186752523225
10NantesNantes187472423125
11Lille186752324-125
12Brest186662527-224
13Lyon176652525023
14Reims185762121022
15Bordeaux183872840-1217
16Clermont184592032-1217
17Troyes1844101727-1016
18Metz183692238-1615
19Lorient183691430-1615
20Saint-EtienneSt Etienne1826101739-2212
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1713224093141
2Liverpool16114145123337
3Chelsea16113238112736
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham168442819928
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd168352624227
6Arsenal168262122-126
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs148151617-125
8Leicester CityLeicester166462727022
9Aston Villa177192325-222
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166371214-221
11Brentford165562122-120
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton154831416-220
13Crystal Palace164752222019
14Everton165382028-818
15Southampton163761424-1016
16Leeds UnitedLeeds173771732-1516
17Watford1641112131-1013
18Burnley151861421-711
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle161781734-1710
20Norwich CityNorwich172411834-2610
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