15 February 2019
The first meeting between Rennes and Real Betis in the UEFA competition will take place at the Roazhon Park as the visitors chase their first road victory over some French club after four consecutive failures (D1, L3).
In spite of three defeats (W3, D3) and a negative -1 goal difference, the French outfit went past the Europa League group stage. The hosts, however, come into this meeting looking to stretch a three-game winning run across all competitions during which they’ve scored six goals while conceded just one. Quite impressive at home this season, Les Rouges et Noirs have racked up a nine-game home unbeaten streak (W8, D1), scoring 2+ match goals seven times in the process. What’s more, Rennes’ defense has been performing equally well in the same period, keeping a clean sheet on six occasions, while restricting their rivals to a maximum of one goal per match twice during the run.
On the other hand, the Spanish team finished top of Group F and qualified for the EL knockout stage as one of seven unbeaten sides in the competition. But, the visitors are not going through the best of times having clinched just three wins in their last 12 games across all competitions (W3, D5, L4). Winless on their previous five road trips (D2, L3), the Beticos are going after their elusive first away triumph in 2019. After the Christmas break, Quique Setien’s men have failed to keep a clean sheet in all five road encounters, allowing over 1.5 goals per match four times in the sequence. What’s more, immense problems in the final third have seen Los Verdiblancos struggled to hit the net on their last two road trips.
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