Wednesday, December 8
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Dec 5, 2021 at 12pm UK
St EtienneSaint-Etienne

Camara (76')
FT(HT: 0-3)
Terrier (22', 28', 48'), Macon (45' og.), Ugochukwu (83')

Preview: Saint-Etienne vs. Rennes - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Two sides at opposite ends of the Ligue 1 table meet on Sunday afternoon when Saint-Etienne welcome Rennes to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

The hosts are now rock bottom of the table with just 12 points to show from their first 16 games, whilst the visitors are flying high in third.

Match preview

Saint-Etienne looked like they might be building a little momentum as a good run of results in late October and November saw them pick up two wins and two draws.

However, just as the opportunity to move out of the relegation zone came into view, they have reverted to type and suffered defeats in the past two games.

First, Les Verts squandered a 1-0 lead to league leaders Paris Saint-Germain, becoming far too passive after having been reduced to 10 men late in the first half, and then lost to a single Brest goal on Wednesday.

Claude Puel's time at the club has never been convincing, having taken charge of a team that finished fourth and only narrowly avoided relegation the following season.

Much of last season was then also spent hovering in and around the relegation zone and many fans considered Puel fortunate to have retained his job over the summer. How he remains in that job currently is something of a mystery, and the days of Saint-Etienne as a consistent top-half side feel like a distant memory.

Rennes have been consistently producing the goods in both Ligue 1 and the Europa Conference League this season, exceeding expectations with form that, in any other year, would have them eyeing up a title challenge.

Their run of 13 games without a defeat ended on Wednesday evening, however, as stuttering champions Lille produced the goods at Roazhon Park.

First-half goals from Xeka and Renato Sanches put Les Dogues in control, and Benjamin Bourigeaud's goal in the 85th minute proved to be just a consolation as the hosts were unable to find a late equaliser.

It says a lot about the two teams' drastic change in form and fortunes that a side who finished sixth last year - and 10th a couple of campaigns before that - losing to the reigning champions is seen as something of an upset.

Bruno Genesio's men overcame a brief blip in mid-September, where they suffered back-to-back 2-0 defeats against Reims and Marseille, and he will be hoping this one proves to be even shorter with a return to winning ways against a side in the doldrums.

Saint-Etienne Ligue 1 form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

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

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

Team News

Timothee Kolodziejczak and Mahdi Camara will return to the Saint-Etienne starting XI having served their respective suspensions.

Puel remains without Romain Hamouma, however, who will be out until the New Year with a thigh injury, and Yvan Neyou is still a doubt with a sprained ankle.

Absent in Rennes' last two matches, Flavien Tait will not play again on Sunday with his return expected to come against Tottenham Hotspur next week.

Defender Jeremy Gelin is a longer-term absence with an ACL injury and he is not expected back until March.

Saint-Etienne possible starting lineup:
Green; Sissoko, Nade, Kolodziejczak, Trauco; Camara, Aouchiche; Bouanga, Youssouf, Krasso; Khazri

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Gomis; Truffert, Aguerd, Omari, Traore; Tait, Martin, Sulemana; Doku, Terrier, Laborde

We say: Saint-Etienne 1-2 Rennes

Their undefeated run may finally have come to an end but we are backing Rennes to bounce back immediately and pick up all three points here. Saint-Etienne are beginning to look doomed this season and are more likely to feel pressure from their home crowd than the visiting supporters.

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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1Paris Saint-GermainPSG17133136162042
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20Saint-EtienneSt Etienne172691737-2012
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