Rennes vs Celtic: Europa League preview

Rennes vs Celtic
Europa League Group E
5:55pm Thursday 19th September

Stade de la Route-de-Lorient

Rennes head trainer Julien Stephan believes Celtic are extremely near the grade of Europa League rivals Lazio since he warned his team that getting out of the team would be more difficult than last season.
Celtic kick off their group campaign in Brittany on Thursday while Cluj, their Champions League conquerors, take the Italians.
Rennes achieved the last 16 last season, finishing before Jablonec and Astana and supporting Dinamo Kiev, before beating Real Betis and dropping to Arsenal.
But Stephan said:”It will be completely different group from last year, we think it’s a more powerful group. They’re used to winning titles, every year almost, they’ve won eight titles in a row.
“They’re a group that are usually in the Champions League and they’ve got enormous experience with many internationals.
“We know they could play at the atmosphere and they’re extremely technical. They are a very, very great team and also possess technical players such as (Callum) McGregor, (Ryan) Christie, (James) Forrest, simply to mention a few.
“They’re well balanced and we understand how difficult it’s going to be we are fortunate to perform at house and the fans are going to play a big role in a potential win for us.
“I do believe Celtic are among the favourites. So far as experience they ought to be able to perform well, possibly just behind Lazio.”
Rennes sit second in the table Paris Saint-Germain throughout their opening five games although stephan has lost half of the group that won the French Cup.
“It’s a new team, a new season, there’s a brand new story to be told and we need to build a story with a brand new team,” he explained. “We can not compare this year with last season, this past year is history.
“We’re in the process of fixing and the team is evolving. We’ve had a very good beginning in the league and now we will need to take it in to Europe.”
After sustaining a head injury from 16, christopher Jullien was declared fit to your match.
The Frenchman clashed with required medical care and Marios Ogkmpoe before he was forced off.
If Neil Lennon chooses to break Jullien hatem Abd Elhamed is pushing to get a start, but Leigh Griffiths didn’t travel after picking up a thigh knock.
Rennes dropping 1-3 away from the 2011-12 Europa League group stages and are winless in each of the meetings drawing.
Celtic are winless in their last seven away European matches against French opposition (D2 L5) since beating Nantes 3-1 in the 1966-67 European Cup last 16, en route to winning the trophy.
Including qualifiers, Rennes have lost just one of the last 15 home games in European contest (W8 D6), moving down 1-2 from Dynamo Kiev in last year’s Europa League group phase.
Back in Champions League along with Europa League matches combined, Celtic have won just three of the 45 away team stage games (W3 D11 L31), with one of the victories coming in last year’s competition (1-0 at Rosenborg).
Celtic’s James Forrest has played in each of the last four games in European competition this season, such as in both legs of the Europa League qualifying victory against AIK.
Rennes have started in Ligue 1. I hope that M’Baye Niang won’t be enjoying. He is lightning quick, almost a variant of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. These guys can move and play, and that’s what Celtic fight against.
Celtic will be helpful about the counter-attack, however their standing is obviously exactly the same. They get scared when they journey away from home. They do not know if to play a squeezing game or not and where to pitch their defence.
They are going to have players and speed out wide, in which they’ll look to exploit. Celtic have injuries that are defensive and won’t endanger here.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (17/2 with Sky Bet)
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