The Coupe de France resumes for the Round of 32 fixture.
On Friday night, Coupe De France is back for a Round of 32 fixture with a mouth-watering clash as Champions Marseille faces off against Rennes at the Stade Velodrome.
Marseille have been in a blistering run of form since the turn of this year as they have been on a streak of some goal-scoring spree which has been matched by few others in that division. After humbling Hyeres 2-0 in the previous round, the ten-time champions of this elusive trophy will be looking forward to progressing into the Round of 16 as Igor Tudor’s side look relentless.
Sitting prettily at 3rd in the Ligue 1 table, they are just 5 points behind PSG in the title race with an equal number of games played. They have been undefeated at The Velodrome in this competition since 2017 when they fell short of a Monaco outfit who were bossing around back at that time.
Rennes on the other hand are sitting at 5th in the Ligue 1 Table equal on points with Monaco as they eye for a top-four spot. Bruno Genesio’s men have been consistent this season domestically but there are some questions lingering around their away performances. Les Rennais have won just once in their last five matches in all competitions as the visitors, scoring just a single goal in each of their previous three domestic encounters on the road.
They kept the likes of Neymar and Mbappe at bay in their last league fixture as PSG could manage only one shot on their goal as Les Rouges et Noir capped off an impressive performance with a 1-0 victory against Les Parisiens. Stade Rennais edged past Bordeaux 2-1 earlier this month to give themselves a clash against Marseille.
Kick-off: Saturday, 21st January, 01:40 am (IST), 08:10 pm: (GMT), Friday, 20th January
Marseille form (all competition): W-W-W-W-W
Rennes form (all competition): W-L-W-L-W
Player to watch
Sanchez is a quick, creative, intelligent and hard-working player with an eye for goal, who is known in particular for his energy, strength, skill and work rate on the pitch. He has scored 9 times out of 22 appearances this season and has been a regular starter for Igor Tudor since his arrival.
Jeremy Doku’s speed, balance and dribbling skills stand out at first glance. At just 171cm and 65kg, he is not the biggest player, and he makes the most of his smaller physique. It is very rare to see Doku outpaced by an opposing player. He has already scored once in Coupe De France this season and will be looking to capitalize on it again.
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- Marseille and Rennes played out a 1-1 draw between them in Ligue 1 the last time these two sides met in Ligue 1 last September.
- Marseille has never lost to Rennes in this competition defeating them in the 2005-06 semi-finals.
- Rennes have not lost a competitive match all throughout the season when they scored the first goal and they have found the back of the net on all occasions except falling 1-0 to Lorient in the opening fixture of the 2022-23 season.
Injury and team news
Eric Bailly who is currently on loan from Manchester United will be missing out on this fixture as he was sent off in the 15th minute against Hyeres. Jonathan Clauss will also be reportedly out of this fixture due to a groin injury which will give Issa Kabore a place in the starting lineup.
Martin Terrier is out of the season with an ACL injury which will be a massive blow for the Les Rouges et Noir while the return of Xeka is highly unexpected as there are some concerns regarding his sprained ankle. Hamari Traore is a viable option at left back for Bruno Geserio as he will depend mostly on Gouiri and Majer to deliver the goods yet again.
Marseille predicted lineup (3-4-2-1):
Lopez; Balerdi, Gigot, Gueye; Kabore, Guendouzi, Veretout, Kolasinac; Payet, Sanchez; Dieng
Rennes predicted lineup (4-4-2):
Mandanda; Meling, Theate, Wooh, Traore; Tait, Ugochukwu, Bourigeaud, Majer; Doku, Gouiri
Both these teams will be looking forward to progressing further in this competition as it is the only probable chance for silverware for both of them. Marseille has been on an amazing run of form which makes us keep them slightly ahead in this game keeping in mind the relatively poor performances of Rennes in away games.
Prediction: Marseille 2-1 Rennes.