Chelsea v Rennes Tips- Hosts too strong but Ligue 1 visitors pose aerial threat


Chelsea vs Rennes
Wednesday, 20:00 GMT
Live on BT Sport 2

Pulisic and Rugani ruled out

For hosts Chelsea Christian Pulisic is expected to sit out the game with a hamstring injury. Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy should line-up between the posts against his former club.

Rennes’ outstanding 17-year-old France midfielder Eduardo Camavinga misses the trip with a thigh injury. Daniele Rugani and France U21 international Faitout Maouassa are out, too, meaning Damien Da Silva and Dalbert Henrique will start at centre-back and left-back respectively.

Chelsea are overwhelming favourites against a Rennes side on a steep learning curve in this competition. It’s difficult to argue with the odds of 2/51.4 on Frank Lampard’s players picking up all three points. There should be too much class in the home ranks against Ligue 1 visitors using this season as a learning experience.

Rebuilt Rennes look second-best

In preparation for their first-ever entry into this competition Rennes embarked on a summer spending spree to ensure they had enough depth and quality to be competitive.

Their transfer market activity was largely successful: Alfred Gomis (the replacement for Mendy), centre-back Nayef Aguerd, left-back Dalbert Henrique, wide attacker Martin Terrier, exciting teenage Belgium international winger Jeremy Doku and striker Sehrou Guirassy arrived for an outlay of Β£63 million, with all six expected to be in the starting line-up at Stamford Bridge.

Yet Rennes have picked up only one point from their opening two matches: they drew 1-1 at home to Krasnodar and were lucky to lose only 1-0 when Sevilla outclassed them in Spain last week.

Rennes will travel in defiant mood: they’ve nothing to lose from this trip and are confident they can improve as the group phase unfolds. Their W5-D3-L2 record in all competitions this season is solid enough and they have the potential to cause Chelsea defensive concerns.

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Yet the hosts have done markedly better against the same opposition as Rennes: Chelsea drew 0-0 against Sevilla rather than being outplayed, and blew away Krasnodar 4-0 last week thanks to goals from Callum Hudson-Odoi, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Pulisic.

There’s no point in opposing Chelsea, and some appeal in backing them -1.0&-1.5 Asian Handicap considering the difference in strength between these two sides. With this selection, you’ll lose only half your stakes if Chelsea win by a single goal, and make a profit at around evens if Chelsea win by two or more goals. For a full guide to Asian Handicap betting, click here.

Defensive duo the smart scoring picks

For a more speculative interest in the scoring markets a couple of players in the Rennes ranks stand out. Centre-backs Da Silva (pictured above) and Aguerd have been a formidable threat in the air this season: they’ve already scored three times each in Ligue 1, meaning they’re responsible for one-third of all Rennes’ league goals between them.

With dead-ball expert Benjamin Bourigeaud – a childhood fan of David Beckham and blessed with a similar technique when striking the ball – likely to be reinstated to the team after starting on the bench for Rennes’ 2-1 weekend win over Brest, look out for the defensive duo Da Silva and Aguered posing a threat at corners and free-kicks.