Rennes vs Shakhtar – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 23rd February 2023
As part of our Europa League predictions, we take a look at Shakhtar’s trip to Rennes. The Ukrainians hold a slender 2-1 advantage – can they progress to the knockout stage here? Read on with our Rennes vs Shakhtar prediction.
Shakhtar (CL and EL)
Rennes vs Shakhtar Match Preview
Rennes qualified easily from Group B with games to spare, but ultimately Group B was one of the kinder groups and it’s difficult to ascertain their strength. Dynamo Kyiv were denied home advantage for the same reason as Shakhtar are this evening, and AEK Larnaca are a decent side but not particularly strong for the Europa League.
Rennes’ toughest test came in the form of Istanbul’s Fenerbahce, with whom they played out an entertaining 5-5 aggregate draw. All of their winning matches came via a one-goal margin, which suggests that although they were comfortable in their qualification, they weren’t necessarily superior to their opponents. Domestically, Rennes found relief at the weekend to alleviate their poor run of form via a comfortable 2-0 home victory over Clermont that brings them up to fifth place following Lille’s late defeat to PSG.
Shakhtar’s Champions League campaign, which saw them shorn of home advantage due to the war in Ukraine, saw the Ukrainians battle against the odds in a tough group containing reigning champions Real Madrid, Leipzig and Celtic. To their immense credit, Shakhtar were able to secure third place and a Europa League playoff spot thanks largely to an astonishing 4-1 victory in Leipzig as 8/1 outsiders with most bookmakers. Domestically, Shakhtar have still not returned to competitive action following the World Cup and winter break.
The first leg of this tie was something of a tale of two halves, with Shakhtar taking a well-earned 2-0 lead into half time, and Rennes pulling a goal back in the 59th minute with a close-range volley from their Cameroonian winger Toto Ekambi. This could perhaps be a function of Shakhtar tiring due to a lack of match fitness on their part or it could simply be that the French side managed to raise their game, but in the end, they could be considered a bit unfortunate not to be taking a valuable draw back to Rennes.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Assignon, Terrier, Traore, Xeka
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Korniienko, Shved
Rennes vs Shakhtar Lineups (Predicted)
Rennes (4-4-1-1): Mandanda; Truffert, Theate, Rodon, Spence; Ugochukwu, Bourigeaud Toto-Ekambi, Doku; Gouiri; Kalimuendo
Shakhtar (4-3-3): Trubin; Konoplya, Bondar, Matviienko, Mykhaylichenko; Stepanenko, Bondarenko, Sudakov; Zubkov, Kryskiv, Traore
Though Rennes come into this match trailing by a one-goal deficit, they will feel that they showed enough during that second-half fightback to be able to haul themselves back onto level terms at home. In the first half, Shakhtar counter-attacked with pace and accuracy and created several openings which they were able to take advantage of. The second half, however, was a different story and Rennes were able to play themselves back into contention while Shakhtar did very little offensively.
Rennes are a completely different team at home, with 12 wins from 16 games at Roazhon Park in all competitions. Therefore, we are confident that Rennes can create the necessary chances to score at least a couple of goals here to give them a chance at qualification for the Europa League knockout stage. However, we doubt that they can keep Shakhtar out. This is because Shakhtar can afford to sit in and attempt to hit Rennes on the break in attempt to further extend their aggregate lead as they will aware of the fact that the French side must go for it.
Though Rennes are better defensively compared with their tendency to leak goals away from home, Shakhtar are a highly capable counterattacking side as they demonstrated ably in the reverse fixture, and therefore a narrow home win to take this into extra-time seems like the logical conclusion.
Rennes 2-1 Shakhtar
Shakhtar vs Rennes Betting Tip – Rennes Odds:
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