Arsenal look to put one foot into the quarter-finals of the Europa League when they face French side Rennes on Thursday evening. We take a look at whether Unai Emery’s side will struggle against their French counterparts.
Arsenal go into Thursday's tie with an unconvincing away record in their last 10 matches across all competitions. In the last round, the Gunners suffered a humiliating 1-0 away defeat at the hands of BATE Borisov featuring former Arsenal star Alexander Hleb.
Emery will need to fire up his players as the only away wins he has been able to muster up recently have been against Huddersfield in the Premier League and Blackpool in the FA Cup.
Yet, the bookies are confident that the Gunners will have a strong chance of leaving France with the advantage. A number of bookmakers make Arsenal evens, but you can find a best-price of 21/20.
The hosts will be familiar opponents for the current Arsenal boss and their progression to last-16 round shouldn’t be sniffed at.
Rennes dispatched Celta Vigo 6-4 on aggregate in the round of 32 to earn a draw against the Gunners and one man in particular will be looking to make a nuisance of himself on Thursday evening.
Hatem Ben Arfa was out of favour at PSG while Unai Emery was in charge and will be eager to show his old boss what a mistake he made.
Ben Arfa has scored twice in the competition so far and is undoubtedly the French side’s star man.
The bookmakers give Rennes a decent chance of overturning Arsenal, despite the huge differences in personnel and finance. You can find Rennes to win at 16/5 best-price.
A draw could be potentially great value at a best-price of 13/5, as Arsenal have never lost on French soil.
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Arsenal welcome back Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sead Kolasianc to the fold, but the Gunners will be missing striker Alexandre Lacazetter has he serves a three-match ban.
Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Danny Welbeck remain on the sidelines with long-term injuries.
The hosts have a number of names who remain doubts including Ludovic Baal, Jordan Siebatcheu, Abdoutlaye Diallo and James Lea Sikiki.
Draw @ 13/5 – BET NOW
Arsenal might have the star pedigree, but Rennes’ home form shouldn’t be underestimated. The French side have not lost on home soil since a 4-1 drubbing by Strasbourg back at the start of December. Since then the likes of Lille, Celta Vigo and Marseille have all travelled to Brittany.
Arsenal’s away record is poor with just two wins in their last 10 games across all competitions. Considering the nightmare the Gunners faced against Belarusian side BATE in the previous round on their travels, a draw would satisfy the Arsenal fans.
Ismaila Sarr to score anytime @ 16/5 – BET NOW
One man Arsenal need to be wary of his the 21-year-old Senegalese international, Ismaila Sarr who has been involved in more goals in the Europa League than any other player for the French side.
The winger has scored 10 goals in 48 games for the Ligue 1 side and is definitely a name for the future. Clearly a player not phased by the big moment, Sarr clinched Rennes spot in the knockout phase with two goals against Astana.
Correct Score – 1-1 @ 6/1 – BET NOW
Rennes have plenty of attacking threat at their disposable and have scored in 13 out of their last 14 home games.
Arsenal’s poor record on their travels looks set to continue as they go again without Alexandre Lacazette upfront and while there’s goals littered around this Gunners team, the 1-0 loss in Belarus still holds doubts which is why a 1-1 draw looks like the most likely outcomes.
The bookies are offering this selection for a tempting 6/1 best-price.
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