Shakhtar vs Rennes – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 16th February 2023
Marshall Józef Piłsudski’s Municipal Stadium
As part of our Europa League predictions, we take a look at Shakhtar vs Rennes. Shakhtar haven’t played competitively since November, while Rennes have lost 4 from 5. Stalemate? Read on with our Shakhtar vs Rennes prediction.
Shakhtar (Champions League)
Shakhtar vs Rennes Match Preview
Shakhtar Donetsk come into this crucial Europa League Playoff tie with Rennes having played no competitive football since November. Their Champions League campaign, which saw them shorn of home advantage due to the war in Ukraine, saw Shakhtar 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 find themselves five points off the pace behind leaders Dnipro, albeit with a game in hand and two games in hand over reigning champions Dynamo Kyiv, who are level on points with Shakhtar. Therefore, it’s difficult to gauge Shakhtar’s current form as they’ve only played friendlies since they returned to action last month. Precious little can be gleaned from friendly matches, so despite Shakhtar winning only one from five, we’re not putting any stock into that. What is perhaps more concerning is the recent departure of Mykhaylo Mudryk. While Shakhtar were certainly well compensated for one of this season’s leading lights in the Champions League this season, his absence will surely weigh heavily.
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 are in the midst of a poor run of form which has seen them lose five of their last seven matches in all competitions and, tellingly, this includes picking up just one point from their last five away Ligue 1 fixtures since the restart. Back-to-back 3-1 defeats against Lille and in-form Toulouse are perhaps more instructive of where the French side are at right now, as opposed to the 3-0 victory over relegation-threatened Strasbourg.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Nazaryna, Ocheretko
Will Not Play: Korniienko, Shved
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Assignon, Terrier, Traore, Xeka
Shakhtar vs Rennes Lineups (Predicted)
Shakhtar (4-3-3): Trubin; Konoplya, Bondar, Matviienko, Mykhaylichenko; Stepanenko, Bondarenko, Sudakov; Zubkov, Kryskiv, Traore
Rennes (4-3-3): Mandanda; Truffert, Theate, Rodon, Spence; Santamaria, Majer, Bourigeaud; Toto-Ekambi, Doue, Gouiri
Rennes will be mindful of their poor recent defensive record and the six goals they conceded against Toulouse and Lille. Though xG is a disputed metric and measures the average expected conversion of chances rather than player quality, Toulouse registered an xG of 3.07 without the benefit of a penalty which would inflate that particular statistic. What we mean by this is that Rennes were giving up high-quality chances, and in order to come out of this match with a positive result they’ll need to tighten up at the back as a priority, which lends itself to a lower-scoring occasion unless one team makes an early breakthrough.
Shakhtar have done very well indeed to earn this playoff under the circumstances, but without the outgoing Mudryk and Shved’s absence, they may find it difficult to breach Rennes if they come to play a more cautious brand of football as we believe they will. A lack of competitive action since November won’t help their cause, nor will the lack of home advantage. We believe all of these factors will combine to serve up a draw in what will probably be a scrappy affair and certainly not one for the football purists.
Shakhtar 1-1 Rennes
Shakhtar vs Rennes Betting Tip – Draw Odds:
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