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Arsenal v Rennes Betting Tips: Can Gunners keep European dream alive?

Richard Marsh | 14 March 2019

Preview and odds for Champions League clash

You never quite know which Arsenal side will turn up these days. The side which lost 3-1 to Rennes last week or the 2-0 winners over Manchester United on Sunday?

Arsenal fans will be hoping it’s the latter. The Gunners must win by two goals to have a chance of going through tonight.

They should be confident of doing that, though, and they’ve been handed a further boost with Alexandre Lacazette available to play following an appeal over his red card. Can Arsenal make it count? It’s live on BT Sport 2, and gets underway 8.00pm…

Head-to-head

Last Thursday’s clash was the first time the teams have met. And both sides head into the second leg buoyed by weekend wins.

Arsenal were excellent in Sunday’s win over United, while Rennes produced a second 3-1 win on the spin to down Caen on the same day.

The French side have struggled on their European travels this season though, losing to both Astana and Dynamo Kiev.

Arsenal, in contrast, have only lost one of their 11 home games in the Europa League.

Likely XIs

Emery may well stick with the side which beat United on Sunday. That means starts for each of Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lacazette.

The Spaniard will be forced into at least one change, however, with Sokratis suspended for his red card last week. 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been in good form of late, but missed Sunday’s win through injury and could miss out again this evening. That may ensure Emery goes with Ozil rather than the Armenian and/or Alex Iwobi.

Rennes boss Julien Stephan has juggled 4-4-2 with 4-2-3-1 this term. He may opt for a defensive approach, with the option to counter where possible. Hatem Ben Arfa had plenty of time on the ball last week, and he’s sure to be at the crux of Rennes’ forward play again.

Key battles

Rennes were gifted their way back into the game last week after Sokratis’ red. They’re likely to be on the back foot from the off tonight though.

The movement of Ramsey, Lacazette and Aubameyang will keep the French defence busy. But if the visitors can shut down Mesut Ozil, they could go a long way to closing down Arsenal’s forwards.

But Rennes know Arsenal are vulnerable at the back. They’ll look to burst on the break, and be as clinical as they were a week ago.

Match odds

Arsenal are 2/9 favourites to win the game in 90 minutes, but it’s their 5/6 price to qualify which fans will be focusing on.

Can the visitors hold on to their first leg advantage? Rennes are also 5/6 to go through, but are out at 10/1 to win the match.

Emery’s men can’t afford to sit back. They need goals and there’s 19/10 about Arsenal to win on the -2 handicap.

Aubameyang tops the first goalscorer betting at 13/5. He’s followed by Lacazette at 16/5, with the Frenchman eager to make up for his first leg suspension.

Benjamin Bourigeaud netted Rennes’ equaliser a week ago. The Frenchman is 14/1 to hand Arsenal an early blow with the opening goal of the game.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing