8 March 2019
Rennes and Arsenal go at each other at the Roazhon Park for the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie as the visitors hope to post their 14th win in the 23rd competitive meeting with some French outfit.
After pulling off an outstanding 3-1 road victory over Real Betis to secure their place in the round of 16, Les Rouges et Noirs have maintained a promising run, playing out a draw and clinching a victory in the build-up to the midweek’s showdown. Unbeaten in their last 12 home encounters across all competitions (W8, D4), Rennes look to reach the Europa League quarter-finals for the first time in the club’s history. Thanks to a stubborn defending, Julien Stéphan’s men have conceded just five goals in their previous seven home games, preserving a clean slate on four occasions in the process. Stéphan has nothing to complain about when it comes to his team’s attacking game either, as Rennes scored 2+ match goals in four of last five home races.
On the other hand, the visitors wasted a golden opportunity to beat Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, as they now look to bounce back and secure their fourth victory in the fifth Europa League road fixture this campaign (W3, L1). However, it will be far from simple considering the Gunners have wrapped up just two wins on their last ten road trips across all competitions (W2, D3, L5), keeping barely one clean sheet along the way. What’s more, Unai Emery’s men have failed to live up to expectations in the final third recently, scoring 2+ match goals only twice in eight of their previous competitive away games. Still, the one thing that can comfort the Spaniard is that his players have racked up a four-game unbeaten run (W3, D1), bagging 11 goals while allowing just two in the process.
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