Arsenal v Rennes Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 14th March 2019

Much like in the previous round, Arsenal must come back from behind in order to keep their Europa League hopes alive. The Gunners successfully overturned a one goal deficit against BATE last month but come into this return leg with Rennes trailing by a slightly concerning two goals and with it all to do.

Rennes’s 3-1 home victory against the Gunners last week has drastically shaken up the betting for this round of 16 clash. The Ligue 1 outfit began as the considerable underdogs but now stand as the narrow favourites to make it into the quarter-finals at Arsenal’s expense. The Gunners have been superb at home this term though so they will feel they are very much in the hunt.

Top Tips

Arsenal to Qualify @ 19/20

Both Teams to Score @ 10/11

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Arsenal News: Sokratis misses out

Arsenal's Emirates Stadium on a Rainy Matchday
Photo © Julian Osley (cc-by-sa/2.0) (Image Cropped)

In many ways Sokratis Papastathopoulos is your typical no nonsense defender so it should come as little surprise he’s collected nine red cards since 2010. The Greek international’s latest dismissal came in the first leg match with Rennes with just 41 minutes on the clock. Already on thin ice, he collected a second yellow card when adjudged to have brought down Ismaila Sarr despite minimalal contact. Many felt the Rennes forward went down far too easily but it’s of no consolation to Sokratis who now misses this game through suspension, along with Alexandre Lacazette.

Mkhitaryan to return

Over the past few weeks, Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been performing much like Arsenal fans had hoped he would when the Armenia international first joined their club. It’s taken the former Borussia Dortmund man quite some time to find his feet but he’s proven his worth lately. A start against Manchester United last weekend looked nearly nailed on as a result but a lower back problem forced the midfielder to sit out. Fortunately for Unai Emery, the injury is only a minor one and it looks as though he’ll be back available for selection this Thursday.

Rennes News: French outfit in hot water with UEFA

Stade Rennais' Roazhon Park Stadium
chisloup, Panaramio via Wikimedia Commons

A record breaking crowd of 30,519 at Roazhon Park saw Rennes beat Arsenal 3-1 last week but the club may find themselves losing a decent chunk of their ticket revenue. The Ligue 1 side have been hit with three separate charges by UEFA, the setting off of fireworks, field invasion by supporters and the blocking of stairways. It will be a while before Rennes learn their fate with the Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body only set to review the charges on 28th March. Any punishment handed out is unlikely to be severe though and most likely in the form of a fine.

Analysis: Home soil to make a huge difference

Arsenal have returned as the Jekyll and Hyde club of the Premier League courtesy of their radically contrasting home and away form. On the road the Gunners have won just two of their last 11 matches yet they’ve won eight of their last nine at the Emirates. Beaten in France, the Gunners will look a completely different side in London as they seek to overturn a two goal deficit. Buoyed by a 2-0 win over Man United last time out that moved them into the top four, the hosts should be full of confidence here.

Gunners to prevail

Emery stated he has ‘confidence’ that his men can turn things around against Rennes and there’s reason to think his belief is well placed. When it was 11 versus 11 in France, the Gunners looked the far superior team, fully in control of proceedings. It was only when Sokratis unfairly saw red that the momentum of the match swung and Rennes were able to capitalize. Although Lacazette is still missing, the Londoners have the fire-power required to overcome their two goal deficit. Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang broke the 20 goal mark across all competitions last week with 14 of them scored at home. With the Gabonese strike leading the line, back Arsenal to progress to the next round (19/20).

Sokratis absence a real blow

Out of all of Arsenal’s summer signings, it is the experienced Sokratis that has been the most important. The experienced defender has often been a rock at the heart of the Gunners backline and you could see how sorely he was missed after being sent off last week. With Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin also unavailable, the Gunners could be a vulnerable at the back in this game. Rennes will come to the Emirates full of attacking intent and the pace of the likes of Sarr and Mbaye Niang are likely to cause issues again. Both teams to score therefore is definitely a bet to consider, available at a fair price of 10/11.

Recent Matches

Arsenal met Rennes for the first time last week as they lost an away match in France for the first time ever. Unusually for the Gunners, their record against Ligue 1 sides is actually better away than at home. On their own patch they’ve won just five of the previous 12 clashes against teams from across the Channel. They will expect to make it six here but can they win by enough to progress?

7th March 2019: Rennes 3 – 1 Arsenal

Alex Iwobi handed Arsenal the perfect start in France as his cross-shot found its way into the net with just three minutes on the clock. Buoyed by the early goal, Arsenal took control of the match but then went to pieces after the referee showed Sokratis’ a second yellow for a foul on Ismaila Sarr. Benjamin Bourigeaud equalised from the resulting free-kick and Nacho Monreal’s unfortunate own goal put Rennes ahead. The Gunners attempted to ensure no more damage was done but in the 88th minute a flying Sarr converted with a diving header to give his side a really big advantage heading into the return.

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