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Rennes v Arsenal Tips: Honours even in tight first-leg tonight?

| 07.03.2019

Unai Emery has already won the Europa League three times with Sevilla. He’ll take a big step towards landing a fourth if Arsenal can claim a first-leg advantage against Rennes tonight.

The Gunners are unbeaten in four matches following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham. But they’ve only won twice on the road since a late-November success over Vorskla.

Can they improve on their away day blues in Rennes? Or will Emery’s boys slip up like they did against BATE Borisov last month?

Match Odds

Arsenal’s away record speaks for itself. Coupled with Rennes’ form at home, though, and the Gunners could encounter more than a few problems in Brittany.

The hosts are unbeaten in 12 matches at Roazhon Park, scoring 24 goals in that time. They’re 13/5 to make that form count with a win, or 3/4 in the Double Chance market.

Emery’s men have won over half of their matches against French sides in Europe. Our traders go even-money about an Arsenal win, while it’s 12/5 for the Draw.

Should the Gunners’ quality cancel out Rennes’ home advantage, we go 11/2 about a 1-1 stalemate.

Talking Tactics

Arsenal lacked any real creative spark in defeat at BATE last month. Mesut Ozil could be restored to the side as a result, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi starting either side.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is expected to be given the nod up-front, while Shkodran Mustafi should replace Laurent Koscielny at the back in Emery’s usual 4-2-3-1 formation.

Rennes should match-up in a similar way, with creative orchestrator and ex-Newcastle United man Hatem Ben Arfa sitting behind the in-form Adrien Honou, who has three goals in five matches.

Electric winger Ismaila Sarr could cause Arsenal problems down the left, while the experienced Clement Grenier will pull the strings in midfield alongside Benjamin Bourigeaud.

Goalscorer Odds

19-goal man Aubameyang is the obvious pick at 11/8. But the Gabonese forward hasn’t scored in the Europa League since netting a double against Vorskla in September.

That leads us to Ozil, who has been in splendid form of late and is 16/5 Anytime or 17/2 to Score First. Sokratis is Arsenal’s joint top-scorer in the competition this term and is a 12/1 shot in France.

For the hosts, Ben Arfa has netted on seven occasions this term, including the opener in a 3-3 draw with Real Betis. As the regular penalty taker, he could get a chance from the spot this evening too.

We make him a 13/5 chance, with the dangerous Sarr slightly further back at 14/5.

Match Info

Where: Roazhon Park

When: 5:55pm

How to watch: BT Sport 3

Click here for the latest Rennes v Arsenal odds

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.