Without knowing he can count on Neymar, PSG will face Rennes this Saturday, December 16, for the French Championship. The match is part of the schedule of the eighteenth round, the penultimate of the first round of the 2017/2018 season. It will be held from 14h (Brasília time) at the stadium of the Route de Lorient in Rennes.
The recent performance of Rennes
Rennes secured an important result on Wednesday, 13 December. Also in their dominions, eliminated Olympique de Marseille from the League Cup of France. After a 2-2 draw in regular time, he took the best in the penalty shootout, securing his place in the quarterfinals of the competition, when they will face Toulouse.
It can not be considered a surprising result, since the club makes a good campaign also in the French Championship. Adding 10 points from the last 12 contested rose to sixth place. He has 25 points (seven wins, four draws and six losses).
In previous seasons, he could even dream of a place in European leagues. This year, however, the good performance of Lyon, Monaco and Olympique, which are tied with 35 points, has reduced that possibility as only the top four Ligue 1 players will be eligible to compete in continental tournaments.
This block, however, can be increased depending on the performance of PSG in the Champions League and also who will win the French Cup, which yields vacancy in the Europa League. This opens this goal for Rennes, which in this case has the main rival Nantes, fifth placed with two more points.
Coach Sabri Lamouchi seems to have solved the one that was the biggest problem for the team to climb in the standings: home performance. After four unbeaten games at the La Route stadium, he won four straight games. It’s still not enough. Rennes is only the thirteenth best captain of Ligue 1.
To try to maintain the good sequence, the coach probably will not be able to count on the defender Namakoro Diallo (without performances in season 2017/2018 of the French Championship); with Ludovic Baal (12 games, no goal), Wahbi Khazri (nine matches, five goals) and Sanjin Prcic (four matches, no goal); and striker Ismaila Sarr (seven games, one goal).
The current form of PSG
None of these embezzlements has, of course, the weight of Neymar’s absence (12 matches in Ligue 1 2017/2018, nine goals). Claiming particular problems and having received authorization from the club’s board of directors, the striker flew to Brazil. Appeared at parties, did dental treatment and confirmed presence in the farewell game of midfielder Nenê, Vasco. But he did not say when he would return. Asked, coach Unai Emery also said he did not know when he could count on the most expensive player in football history.
Proof that the athlete, who won the battle in the race to be the official penalty taker of the team with Edinson Cavani (16 games, 17 goals), receives special treatment of the cards. If you decide to return, you must be promoted as a starter. If you do not want to, you’ll extend your slack until you see fit.
The great advantage of Emery in relation to his colleague from Rennes is to be able to count on attackers able to solve the matches even without Neymar. That was the seventeenth round of the French Championship, when PSG scored 3-1 at Lille and went up to 44 points (14 wins, two draws and a loss) in the lead of the competition. It also took place in the French League Cup when the Paris side beat Strasbourg 4-2. Strasbourg were responsible for ending the unbeaten record of Paris Saint-Germain, which featured Neymar in the 2-1 defeat.
The possible absence of the Brazilian striker, however, is not the only casualty that will likely have to be managed by the coach. Layvin Kurzawa (nine games, one goal) and Thiago Silva (11 matches, no goal) are in the ward; and Thiago Motta (eight matches, one goal) and Adrien Rabiot (17 matches, one goal).
History of the bouts between Rennes and PSG
PSG have won their last six matches against Rennes without conceding a single goal. Last season, the clashes were three. In the Ligue 1, the Parisians made 4 to 0 at home and 1 to 0 away. For the Cup of France, in Rennes, they thrashed by 4 to 0. Three of the duels had the score of 4 to 0. The other half was in the 1 to 0.
Emery will probably have more work to fill Rabiot’s absence if the player is even vetoed by the medical department because of the muscle injury, than Neymar. In the attack, Cavani and Mbappe (12 games, no goal) are able to handle the message.
In the midfield, the coach has not yet found an athlete with the same characteristics as Rabiot. That’s why the Frenchman has been scaled up in all 17 Ligue 1 games so far. Thiago Motta, who could, in theory, play this role, is also hurt.
This even opens up room for risky hunches, especially given the latest home-grown results from Rennes. However, the guess at PSG is still the best option. It has a price of 1.25 in Rivalo. Draw pays 6.00 and success of the owners of the house yields 12.00 for 1.