Rennes vs AC Milan

AC Milan head to Roazhon Park to take on Rennes in the return leg of their Europa League knockout playoff tie, looking to protect a landslide 3-0 first-leg lead.

A near-impossible task awaits Rennes following a debacle at San Siro. With Valencia remaining the only side in Europa League history to overturn a 3-0 first-leg deficit against Basel in 2013/14, Julien Stephan’s men need a miracle, but it’s not all lost yet. Except for that loss in Italy, ‘Les Rennais’ have won their remaining eight matches in 2024, including a 3-1 thumping of Clermont last weekend. But it’d still be insufficient to get them into extra-time, while you’d need to go back to August 2023 for Rennes’ last home triumph that would help them turn this tie on its head. They’ll take confidence from keeping a clean sheet in their two previous home European clashes against Italian visitors (W1, D1), though they’ve only managed two shutouts in 16 outings at Roazhon Park this term.

On the other hand, Milan slumped to a dreadful 4-2 defeat to fellow Lombard rivals Monza at the weekend, intensifying pressure on manager Stefano Pioli after ‘I Rossoneri’ effectively relinquished their Serie A title hopes at Stadio Brianteo. That result knocked the 19-time Italian champions down from a three-game winning streak in all competitions and marked a third consecutive journey on which they conceded 2+ goals. Indeed, high scoring has been a common theme in Milan’s away fixtures these past few months, with seven of their last nine seeing both sides score at least twice. Such a scenario would require Rennes to score five to take this tie beyond the regular 90 minutes, suggesting Milan’s pursuit of a first-ever Europa League title remains firmly on course.

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