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the charm of Rennes put to the test of Europe

The Rennais face Leicester this Thursday in the Europa League Conference. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP

Intractable and attractive in 2022, Stade Rennais faces Leicester this Thursday in the Europa League Conference. Ambitious, the men of Bruno Genesio can believe in their chances of success in this competition.

This season, the Rennais are offering a real show to the followers of the championship and providing pleasure for their supporters. It must be said that the Bretons, well established collectively, offer an attractive game. Reindeer 4e of Ligue 1, is the 2e best attack behind Paris Saint-Germain, with 53 goals scored in 27 matchdays. Score so many goals at this stage of the competition, this had not happened to residents of Roazhon Park for almost 60 years.

Beyond the statistics, it is the game developed by the men of Bruno Genesio that deserves to be highlighted. Indeed, the Bretons play a slick football, turned towards a very solid collective. No “star” who floats, but many players who give themselves for each other and begin to know each other by heart. The old ones like Tait, Bourigeaud or even captain Hamari Traoré, who is surely having his best season under the colors of Rennes, integrated the rookies with great ease. Gaëtan Laborde, Birger Meling or even Lovro Majer have adapted perfectly to the game system set up by Bruno Genesio.

In a preferential 4-3-3, the former coach of Olympique Lyonnais knew how to make strong choices to find the right formula. He did not hesitate to put Guirassy on the bench, he who had started the season in the shoes of a holder. Genesio did the same with Loïc Badé, replaced by the revelation Omari, and who was nevertheless considered one of the best defenders in Ligue 1 under the colors of Lens during the 2020-2021 season.

Without departing from his principles, the 55-year-old coach, accustomed to European cups during his seasons at Olympique Lyonnais, hopes to score a big blow against Leicester this Thursday in 8e first leg of the Europa League Conference.

Led by his super duo Laborde-Terrier, respectively 3e and 4e top scorers in Ligue 1, the Rennais will turn up confident of their strength at the King Power Stadium to face the Foxes in bad shape in the Premier League. 12e championship this season, the men of Brendan Rodgers have no certainty before facing Rennes with full confidence. Without Wesley Fofana absent since August 2021, due to a fractured fibula, Leicester have conceded 43 Premier League goals after just 25 games played. The Frenchman could also make his return during this confrontation.

It’s rather interesting to come up against one of the best teams in the English league.

Bruno Genesio

During the draw for the round of 16, many observers were worried about Rennes. A few weeks later, because of a very fragile defense, a less resplendent midfield and an often orphan attack from Jamie Vardy, who found his way back to the lawns and the nets against Burnley just a week ago, the Foxes have never seemed so close to the Rouge et Noir. Asked about this double confrontation after Rennes’ victory against Montpellier, Bruno Genesio admitted that Rennes had to believe in the final victory and ” When you are at this level of competition, you have no choice. It’s rather interesting to come up against one of the best teams in the English league. It’s a team that is used to playing Europe, which has already played in the Champions League“. The Breton coach strongly believes in his players: “It will be a good revealer. We have every chance. It’s 50-50 going into both games. We will continue to do what we know how to do, create play and score goals. We will believe in ourselves. We don’t want to have any regrets after the two games. Leicester have additional experience. But we have the weapons to bother them on both matches “.

After being full of confidence in recent weeks, the Rennais will do everything, even if it means leaving energy behind, to take out Leicester, the biggest piece of this competition. And why not go for the first continental trophy in the club’s history in the spring if the charm also acts as a blow to Europe?

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