first team / Rennes - OL D-1Rennes... Europ

Rennes... Europe already!

Published on the 23 November 2007 à 18:20 by R.B

OL’s home stretch to the mid-season break starts at the Stade de la Route de Lorient. The league leaders will be looking to make up the points lost at home to Marseille… while preparing for the reception of Barcelona three days later…

From Brittany to the Lorraine, the sextuple champion of France will play 7 matches before the break; 7 matches in which to consolidate its place atop the league standings and to qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League. A hell of a schedule. So now the club has to get back into its normal rhythms after the international break. Where were we? Oh yes, the home defeat to OM. The only black mark on a very positive run and definitely 3 dropped points, points that could have sent OL further in front of the competition. It’s a shame…

Rennes is one of the pack following OL. The Bretons are only 7 points adrift. And haven’t they taken 14 of their 24 points at home? They have been in a bit of a slump lately in all competitions. But with the return of Pouplin, Thomert and Wiltord… they’re getting some serious quality back in the side. The Stade Rennais, a mix of youth and experience, are ambitious, and like last season this could have an effect on the Olympiens. The Lyonnais need to watch out… for “Nino”, Leroy, Mensah and Briand, among others...

[IMG42647#R]The sextuple champion of France will return to its favourite stage. Without Anderson and Fabio Santos, both suspended. Without their long-term injuries. And there will be the question of managing the players’ game time and fatigue after the round of international matches. Freshness? “It concerns 2 or 3 positions in this match…” Alain Perrin made it understood in his press conference that it was a choice between Keita and Govou to play on the right; similar with Fred and Benzema; as well as with Clerc and Réveillère. Bodmer, will play in central defence. Toulalan should make his big return. The former Nantes man hasn’t worn the OL shirt since September 29!

To best prepare for the visit of Barcelona, the lads will have to perform in Brittany. This phrase has become a mantra for Juninho and co. After a break and having 10 players away on international duty, there is no time to muck around waiting for understandings to re-establish themselves. OL is yet to give itself a margin of security in its league campaign, even though it has dished out some heavy defeats. They need to show, among other things, more defensive solidity. This trip to Brittany? The points will be good for the tally and morale. Rennes-OL… Europe already!
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