Arsenal vs Rennes prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Rennes
First leg score: Rennes 3 – Arsenal 1
Arsenal successfully overturned a first-leg defeat in the previous round, but Thursday’s match looks to be a much tougher proposition.
The Gunners’ home form makes them strong favourites to win on the night, although it may not be enough to qualify.
Rennes lost 2-0 away at Astana and 3-1 away at Dynamo Kyiv in the group stage of the competition. A 2-0 win for Arsenal would see them progress, while a 3-1 win would force extra-time.
Arsenal vs Rennes: Who will win?
Arsenal are 3/10 to win the second leg while Rennes are 10/1 to win on Thursday. The draw can be backed at 5/1.
Unai Emery’s side scored a crucial away goal in last week’s first-leg defeat which could prove to be the difference between qualification and elimination. Arsenal are 19/20 to reach the quarter-final while Rennes are 4/5 favourites to progress to the last eight.
Worryingly for Arsenal, Rennes have scored three goals in each of their last three Europa League matches. Back both teams to score at 10/11.
Available for the second leg, Alexandre Lacazette will be keen to add to his one goal in the competition so far. Lacazette is 7/2 to open the scoring and 5/6 to score anytime.
Arsenal vs Rennes Europa League match preview
Arsenal host Rennes at the Emirates Stadium for the second leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie on Thursday.
Unai Emery’s side will need to pull off a major comeback if they are to reach the last eight after losing the first leg 3-1 in France last week.
The Gunners made a positive start to the game, with Alex Iwobi’s fortunate effort creeping in to give Arsenal a 3rd-minute lead.
It was all downhill from there for Arsenal, who went down to 10 men and then conceded an equaliser from Benjamin Bourigeaud right before half-time.
A man down, Arsenal looked completely overrun and deservedly conceded a further two goals, including one from Ismaila Sarr.
Arsenal responded to last week’s defeat in the perfect manner, beating rivals Manchester United 2-0 at home on Sunday to keep their top four hopes alive.
Granit Xhaka opened the scoring before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled Arsenal’s lead from the penalty spot – a week after missing a crucial spot-kick against Spurs.
Arsenal have now won five on the spin at the Emirates, scoring 14 and conceding just two in that period.
Rennes extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a 3-1 home win over Caen on Sunday. Bourigeaud was on the scoresheet once again, as were Adrien Hunou and Mbaye Niang.
The win lifts Rennes up to 8th in the Ligue 1 table.
Arsenal team news vs Rennes
Emery must be tempted to field a similarly offensive line-up to the one defeat Manchester United.
The Gunners received a major boost on Tuesday evening with the news that Lacazette will be available for the second leg.
Lacazette was handed a three-match ban for his red card against BATE in the previous round but, upon appeals, UEFA have reduced the ban to two matches – which he has already served.
Arsenal’s need for a big win should see Lacazette and Aubameyang continue up front together.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Arsenal’s Player of the Month for February, narrowly missed out on Sunday due to a back problem. Mkhitaryan is expected to miss out again.
Lucas Torreira is expected to return to the starting eleven after serving a suspension on Sunday. The Uruguayan’s return means that one of Aaron Ramsey or Mesut Ozil will likely drop to the bench.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos will miss out after his sending off in the first leg.
Mustafi, who played on the right of a back four in the first leg, will likely replace Papastathopoulos in a back three.
Maitland-Niles impressed against the Red Devils and should keep his place at right wing back.
Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck and Hector Bellerin remain sidelined with long-term injuries.
Former Rennes goalkeeper Petr Cech is expected to start in goal once again.
Granit Xhaka is one booking away from a European ban.
Rennes team news vs Arsenal
Hamari Traore is available again after serving his suspension in the first leg and should start at right-back in place of Mehdi Zeffane.
James Lea Siliki could feature from the bench after returning from injury.
Jordan Siebatcheu, Romain Danze, Abdoulaye Diallo and Ludovic Baal remain sidelined for Julien Stephan’s side.
Zeffane and Damien Da Silva are one booking away from a one-match ban.
Arsenal predicted line-up vs Rennes
Rennes predicted line-up vs Arsenal
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All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.