With five points separating Rennes from Marseille on the log of the French Ligue one, it is expected to be a close encounter between the two clubs that are in form.
Rennes is currently occupying the third spot on the log of the top french league after taking 21 points from a possible 24 heading into week 20.
Marseille on the other hand, is seven points behind league leaders, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), after amassing 38 points from 19 games where they have taken an impressive 22 points in an eight-game unbeaten run.
Rennes could close the gap against the visitors with a victory today because they have a game in hand. A win at home will cut the difference between them to two points, and if possible, they win their outstanding match; they will leapfrog OM to second.
As it is an open opportunity for Rennes, OM boss André Villas-Boas his seeing things the same way, but said his lads want to keep the advantage it has in the standings and not get into the peloton where the positions change every weekend.
While noting that there are more pressures on the road, Marseille will be playing Rennes and later Angers. They will then go to Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne.
Villas-Boas, who said Marseille wouldn’t get ahead of themselves, but they are going to take each game as it comes.
He is, therefore, hoping that his team managed to maintain the current level.
The coach who said a draw wouldn’t be a bad result noted that his team has a unique chance to move clear of a direct rival and damage their morale.
Rennes will have to be wary of Dimitri Payet, who has been in good form of late, scoring four goals with three assists to his credit in his last seven league outings.
The 32-year-old midfielder could be recalled into the french national team ahead of 2020 European Nations Cup holding this year.
Villas-Boas, who lauded the creative lad, described him as an exceptional player
because he is capable of making a difference in a game.
In his pre match conference, Julien Stéphan, Rennes coach, played down higher expectations being the ninth highest budget team in the division.
While noting that match is not a turning point as the season is still too early, he said it’s a privilege to be playing in the same division against Marseille.
He added that it would be a big match against another team that is also on an excellent run.
With their best finish in the top flight being fourth, which was achieved in 2007, the coach said he is not thinking of their position on the log, but progressing on a collective level.
Rennes are 2.83 to see of Marseille, while Marseille are backed at 2.68 to win Rennes.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed