Preview and Prediction
Last season, Lille and Rennes were involved in a tight rivalry for one spot in the Champions League qualification before covid-19 forced their competition to halt in an unsavoury end with Rennes’ success to advance to the European top tier league. This weekend, they have a chance to resume what was left last season on matchday 1 of Ligue 1. Christopher Galtier’s side and Julian Stephan’s men will be squaring off in Lille to mark the beginning of Ligue 1 2020/21 season.
Both teams’ latest news
Lille’s failure to secure one spot in Champions League led to their loss on their Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen, who moved to Napoli. Not only him, Christopher Galtier also did not extend Loic Remy’s contract and let Nicolas Gaitan go on a free transfer to Braga. In return, they managed to sign Turkish international striker, Burak Yilmaz from Besiktas and Mexican youngster Eugenio Pizzutto for free plus the Canadian attacking midfielder, Jonathan David.
Meanwhile, Rennes senior figure, Jeremy Morel and Jakob Johansson left the club for free whereas Soulaymane Doumbia was signed by Angers. To replace such loss, they made two signings, the centre back Nayef Aguerd from Dijon and Lyon’s winger Martin Terrier.
Christopher Galtier tends to be in favour of various formations from 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-2-2 and even 4-3-3 whenever necessary. Burak Yilmaz might be opted as the main scorer as the young American Timothy Weah is still injured. He will be supported by Jonathan David as the number 10 and Jonathan Ikone plus Luiz Araujo on both flanks.
His counterpart, Julian Stephan is likely to deploy the similar formation, either 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. Adrien Hunou is the main frontman accompanied by Martin Terrier and the Brazilian Raphinha. The former AC Milan forward Mamadou Niang can come off the bench to break the deadlock.
Players to watch
Lille’s new signing Jonathan David was the Belgium Pro Ligue top scorer last season. The 20-year old Canadian is likely to be the next star of Lille. Some other notable key figures are the Ivorian attacking midfielder Jonathan Ikone and the former Bayern man, Renato Sanches.
In Rennes, Adrien Hunou and Mbaye Niang are the main scorers of the team with eight and ten goals each. Another notable one is the Angolan midfielder who has been the target of several high profile teams in Europe, Eduardo Camavinga.
Lille vs Rennes Prediction
The battle of these two mid-profile clubs in France might start slow. Their new signings could take some time to blend in with the teams’ tactic. It might be tight clash and is rather unlikely to expect the goal galore here. Overall, both teams might share the same point in the end.
The match is meant to be even. Yet, Lille is the slight favorite. The home side is backed to win at 2.25, while Mbaye Niang and Co are priced to win at 3.40. The odds for the draw result are at 3.15