Arsenal will seek to avoid a surprise elimination as they look to overcome a 1-3 aggregate deficit against the French side Rennes at the Emirates!
Rennes shocked many people in the 1st leg as they overcame a 0-1 deficit to beat the Gunners 3-1 in front of their own fans. Arsenal were comfortable early but as soon as Sokratis got sent off they completely collapsed and have put themselves in a tough position coming into the 2nd leg as they have to overcome a 2 goal deficit.
Despite the defeat to Rennes, overall Arsenal are playing some great football lately and are coming off a very good 2-0 win against rivals Manchester United at the weekend which should be a very big emotional boost for them that should bring optimism for Arsenal fans entering this 2nd leg that they can overcome this deficit now.
Rennes are also playing great football, they’ve lost just 1 of their last 10 games and are on a current 3 game winning streak. Rennes backed up the win against Arsenal with another good win in the league at the weekend as they beat Caen 3-1 so right now without a doubt Rennes are in a very good state coming into this game.
Arsenal have been exceptional at the Emirates this season only losing 3 of 24 games, winning 18 of those. Arsenal are currently on a 5 game win streak at home scoring 14 goals (2.8 per game) and have had games where they’ve erupted with loads of goals which should provide optimism for them here. Arsenal have already had to come back from a deficit this season in this competition against BATE which they did as they overcame a 0-1 deficit with a 3-0 win in the 2nd leg at the Emirates so being behind is nothing new to them in Europa League this season.
Rennes are an average away side overall this season, they mostly rely on home form to succeed. They’ve lost 3 of their last 5 away games however they have had a very impressive win in the previous round against Betis 1-3 in Spain which is something Rennes will hope to repeat or at least come close to that type of performance. Rennes have won 2 and lost 2 on their European travels this season.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is the key man to watch for Arsenal. Aubameyang is Arsenal’s top scorer and he also scored a massive goal at the weekend against Man Utd which should bring him back the confidence he had prior to this month so expect Aubameyang to have a big game for Arsenal which they will desperately need from him to turn this tie around. Lacazette is another danger man as he has been their 2nd top scorer, also a prolific goal scorer and will be available to play for them after his ban got reduced. This attack duo will be expected to deliver for the Gunners.
For Rennes, the key will be their backline. The defence will have to step up to hold Arsenal off to protect the lead. Going forward watch out for Benjamin Bourigeaud who has been playing some good football lately scoring a goal in each of his last 3 games including bagging one against Arsenal. Ismaila Sarr is another danger man as he’s been involved in 6 goals (4G 2A) in Europa League including also scoring against Arsenal last week.
Arsenal and Rennes don’t have European history at the Emirates and it’ll be their first meeting in this stadium.
Only one team have come back from a 3-1 deficit in the 2nd leg in the Europa League (since 09-10) and that was Fulham against Juventus in 2010. History is definitely against Arsenal here.
Arsenal are massive bookies favourites to win this game in 90 mins offered at 1.30 while Rennes are 10.25 with Draw tipped at 5.80. However, Rennes are favoured to reach the next round at 1.70, while Arsenal are tipped at 2.15 since Rennes do hold a 3-1 lead right now. Odds based on TonyBet.
Arsenal: Arsenal have been given a gift basically by UEFA as Alexander Lacazette’s 3 game suspension is reduced to 2 games which makes him available for this game. However, CB Sokratis is out which could leave a huge gap in the defence for the Gunners. Bellerin, Welbeck and Holding all remain out while Mkhitaryan could return after missing the Man Utd clash on Sunday.
Rennes: There are no new concerns for Rennes. Only unavailable players are Romain Danze and Rafik Guitane but they’ve been out for months so it’s not a big deal.
Betting Stats (UEL Based)
Arsenal have only covered 25% of their total goal overs at home in the UEL this season (1-3).
Arsenal have covered 25% of their total 1st half goal overs at home in the UEL this season (1-3).
Arsenal average 0.5 bookings per game at home in the UEL this season (2 bookings in 4 games). They had no bookings in 3 of those games.
Aubameyang is Arsenal’s top scorer at home in the UEL this season with 2 home European goals, however both goals came in their first home game of the tournament and he hasn’t scored since. No one else have scored multiple home goals for Arsenal in the Europa League this season.
Arsenal have only covered 25% of their Handicaps at home in the UEL this season (1-3).
Arsenal have covered 50% of their 1st half Handicaps at home in the UEL this season (2-1-1).
Rennes have covered 50% of their total goal overs away from home in the UEL this season (2-2).
Rennes have covered 25% if their total 1st half goal overs away from home in the UEL this season (1-1-2).
Rennes average 2.75 bookings per game away from home in the UEL this season (11 bookings in 4 games).
Rennes don’t have a top scorer on the European travels as all of their 5 away UEL goals have been scored by separate players (Grenier, Siebatcheu, Bensebaini, Hunou and Niang).
Rennes have covered 50% of their Handicaps away from home in the UEL this season (2-2)
Rennes have covered 25% of their 1st half Handicaps away from home in the UEL this season, 50% of them were Voided (1-2-1).
KICK OFF – 14th March 2019 – 8pm UK Time