Rennes v Arsenal Betting Tips: Can Gunners get a vital away win?
Odds and preview for Europa League fixtures
With the race for a top-four spot heating up, the Europa League may be Arsenal’s best hope of securing a Champions League place next season.
The Gunners travel to Rennes tonight for the first leg of their last-16 tie. The hosts are 10th in Ligue 1 and knocked out Real Betis to reach this stage.
Arsenal are 5/1 third-favourites to lift the trophy, but they’ll need to improve on their recent away form to get a result here. Unai Emery’s side have only beaten have only beaten Blackpool and Huddersfield Town on the road since December.
Can they take a lead back to North London? It gets started at 5:55pm on BT Sport 3.
These two sides have never met in competitive action before. Emery knows just what to expect from Rennes though, having faced them seven times during his time at Paris Saint-Germain. He won six and lost just one of those games.
Rennes have a few injuries to deal with, but the suspended Hamari Traore could be missed the most. Mehdi Zeffane should fill in at right-back.
Hatem Ben Arfa fell out with the Arsenal manager when they were at PSG together. He’ll be determined to put on a show alongside Adrien Hunou in attack.
Alexandre Lacazette’s suspension means Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will start up top for the Gunners. Mesut Ozil could come back in to supply him.
Emery may also make a change in both full-back spots. Ainsley Maitland-Niles is fit to return to right-back. And Sead Kolasinc could start on the left, with the more defensive-minded Nacho Monreal rested for Sunday’s crucial game against Manchester United.
Ben Arfa will look to drop deep and run at the Arsenal backline. Lucas Torreira will need to stop him before he gets into the groove.
Ismaila Sarr is another danger man for the French side. He’s Rennes’ top scorer in the competition with three strikes. He’ll target the space in behind Kolasinac.
But Henrikh Mkhitaryan has looked very bright recently. He could combine with Ozil to help Arsenal take control of the tie.
Aubameyang will want to make amends for his last-gasp penalty miss in last week’s North London derby too.
But the visitors haven’t kept one clean sheet in their last 10 away games. Arsenal and Both Teams to Score is a 3/1 shot.
Eddie Nketiah is Arsenal’s only other option up front. The youngster is 13/8 to score if he gets on.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing