Foot Predictions shows the Ligue 1 clash on Sunday between Montpellier HSC and Rennes, including hunches, preview and possible lineups.
After a memorable title-defying victory at Lyon, Montpellier HSC will aim to continue its rebirth against a kind of Rennes on Saturday at lunchtime.
The hosts have won the last three consecutive wins in all competitions, while Rennes hopes to avoid the fifth game without winning in the first division.
It may be a little too late for Montpellier, but his fans will undoubtedly look to the rest of the season with a sense of renewed optimism, after two wins and a draw in the last three Ligue 1 matches.
In fact, Michel der ZakarianThe men of the team followed victories over Dijon and Strasbourg (in the league and in the Coupe de France, respectively) with a historic 2-1 victory on the Lyon lawn, as Teji Savanier and Elye Wahi – the last of which is now being linked to Arsenal – Montpellier fired for a magnificent triumph.
La Paillade tried and failed to win nine times in Ligue 1 before February came, but with Andy Delort back on the team, Montpellier rekindled a late charge for a European spot, although he remains three points behind fifth-placed Rennes, having played one more game.
However, Delort – who already has nine goals and seven assists in the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season – had to be forced out of the break against Lyon due to a hamstring problem again. It remains to be seen how long the talisman attacker will be out, but another visit to the treatment room will undoubtedly interrupt Montpellier’s momentum.
However, Der Zakarian’s men will draw on points with Rennes – who boast a superior goal difference – if they manage to win in Delort’s absence, but have not conceded goals at home all season and Rennes will not want to be usurped without a fight.
Rennes’ domestic form declined understandably when they had to take Champions League games into consideration, but the recent unsuccessful run is certainly even more alarming for Julien Stephan.
Les Rouge et Noir has played eight games since the turn of the year, and only one ended with a victory – a 2-1 victory over Brest on January 17 – and Stephan’s team has failed to win any of the last five in all competitions.
A depressing loss by the Coupe de France to Angers was followed by yet another sad loss to the resurgent Saint-Etienne, who won 2-0 last weekend thanks to goals from Denis Bouanga and Arnaud Nordin, and Rennes’ European ambitions are now seriously threatened.
The title dispute is almost impossible for the visitors now, with an 11-point gap separating them from fourth-placed Monaco – who played another game – while sixth-placed Lens and seventh Marseille are just one point behind Rennes and ready to attack any other slide.
However, Stephan’s men are undefeated in their last nine encounters with Montpellier and have won a 2-1 victory over their opponents at the start of the season, while a victory here would mark the fourth consecutive over La Paillade.
Montpellier HSC Ligue 1 Form: LLLDWW
Montpellier HSC form (all competitions): LLDWWW
Rennes Connect 1 form: DWLDDL
Rennes form (all competitions): WLDDLL
All news from the teams
The extent of Delort’s injury is unclear at the moment, but the 29-year-old is not expected to attend this weekend, so Wahi may have a chance from the opening whistle.
The hosts also lost Mihailo Ristic to an adductor injury in Lyon’s win, and although his problem is not serious, Ambroise Oyongo returned to training in a timely manner and may be vice president of the left.
In addition to replacing the injured pair, Der Zakarian has no reason to fix what is not broken after his surprising victory at Groupama Stadium.
Clement Grenier was undergoing an unforeseen revitalization at Rennes XI before suffering a muscle problem, but the midfielder has recovered and may be in line for a comeback this weekend.
Romain Del Castillo also missed out against Saint-Etienne due to a concussion, but can also be released to participate in this while Steven Nzonzi must return to the first XI after being suspended last Sunday.
Protected teenager Eduardo camavinga has received some criticism for his performances, but there is little chance that the midfielder linked to Real Madrid will be dismissed by him.
Possible initial lineup of Montpellier HSC:
Omlin; Sambia, Hilton, Congre, Oyongo; Ferri; Mavididi, Savanier, Mollet, Laborde; Wahi
Possible initial line-up for Rennes:
Gomis; Traore, Da Silva, Aguerd, Maouassa; Doku, Nzonzi, Camavinga, Bourigeaud; Grenier; Guirassy
Probability: Montpellier HSC 1-1 Rennes
The last thing Der Zakarian needed in the midst of his team’s recovery was another injury to playmaker Delort, and Wahi, 18, has big cleats to fill during the Algerian’s absence. Rennes are aware of Montpellier’s defensive weaknesses at home, but are not in good shape, although we hope visitors will do enough to add a point at the Stade de la Mosson.
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