Soccer / uefa europa league
UEFA Europa League Arsenal vs Rennes Match Preview ⚽ ⚽
The first leg of what promised to be a very difficult encounter for the Gunners ended 3-1 in favor of Rennes. Arsenal now has the opportunity to reverse this encounter on their home turf when they take on Rennes today. Source The first leg started with so much hope for the Gunners as an early Iwobi goal in the third minutes gave them the much needed away goal and an early cushion. What a perfect start it was to an away game. Soon after, Sokratis Papastathopoulos was dismissed a few minutes before the half time break, for two bookable offenses. The resulting free kick led to a powerful volleyed strike from Benjamin Bourigeaud and the match suddenly turned on its head. After the half time break goals from a Nacho Monreal own goal and Ismaila Sarr’s header late in the match, led to a disappointing 3-1 loss for the Gunners and a win for the French side. Arsenal comes into this game knowing that a lot of work is needed to overturn this tie. But the atmosphere has been lifted after the ban following the sending off of Alexandre Lacazette in the match against BATE Borisov was reduced to two matches. Since Lacazette has served his two-match ban in the reverse encounter against Bate and the first leg against Rennes, he would be available for this reverse encounter against Rennes at the Emirates. In a prematch conference held on Wednesday, Unai Emery claimed that his side is not really the favorite but that they would give their best and do all they can to play the best possible match both individually as a team. Emery further added that since they were beaten in the first 90 minutes his team can do the same with great respect for their opponents and ability to control their emotions and the different situations they face in the 90 minutes. Unai further stressed the need for his team to be very demanding and play with high emotion and make clear and right decisions to help control the 90 minutes. He further called out for supporters to be behind the team throughout the encounter. Rennes would be looking to spoil the belief in the Emirates and going by their weekend performance against Caen, it showed that they are more than capable of that. Source Hatem Ben Arfa would be looking to impress the crowd on his return to England. He may even have a bit of revenge in his mind as he once again comes against a manager he ran out of favor within Paris Saint Germain. Since Sokratis is suspended for this encounter, Emery has a decision to make to either play with back four with Xhaka filling the defensive spot or go with a back three. With the ban lifted on Lacazette, he is expected to start while Mkhitaryan continues to nurse a back strain. The trio of Bellerin, Holding, and Welbeck continue to be long term absentees. Romain Danze and Rafik Guitane, right back and midfield respectively, remain unavailable. Apart from these two, there are no further problems for the French side. This match promises to be a tough but mesmerizing encounter. We know for sure that hearts would be broken, champagnes would be popped and parties would be held. The only question is now is who? Source Bet on this fixture now at BetScorum.com - A super fast commission free betting exchange for sports fans!