Stade Rennes vs Celtic

October 19, 2011
By: John Hansen

Stade Rennes were unlucky not to have picked up more than one point from their first two group games, having outplayed both Udinese and Atletico Madrid, but the game against Celtic will be a perfect opportunity for les Bretons to make amends. The Bhoys, on the other hand, have been pretty disappointing this season and they will need to produce something special in order to avoid defeat in France.

Back to winning ways

The club have been on the constant uptrend over the last decade, and especially since talented manager Frederic Antonetti arrived to the helm. The club did really well to reinforce the squad over the summer, bringing Costil, Feret, Pitroipa, Mavinga and Hadji, most of whom are already considered first team regulars. Rennes have been in impressive form at the start to the season, having achieved some convincing wins on domestic stage, while they showed a lot of promise in Europe as well. Les Bretons completely outplayed Serie A leaders Udinese at Friuli, but were very unlucky to end up losing the game, while they did the same at home against Atletico Madrid, only to concede a late equalizer. They should now have much easier game against Celtic, one of the weakest sides in the competition, and there are no doubts the hosts will be very motivated to finally record a victory in Europa League group stage.

Captain Kader Mangane returned into action against Lorient and is expected to start, whereas Julien Feret, Chris Mavinga and Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik all return from domestic suspension. This leaves Boye, Apam and Boukari as the only absentees at the moment.

Tough times for the Bhoys

Celtic have experienced major problems over the last few years, which is hardly surprising considering that the club are forced to sell their key players season after season in order to balance the books. This lack of continuity is making life difficult for boss Neill Lennon and the team itself, but I was still surprised to see Celtic get eliminated in the Europa League play-offs by Swiss minnows Sion. The Bhoys were later awarded a place in the group stages after the Swiss side were expelled, but they showed nothing to prove they deserve to face sides like Atletico Madrid, Udinese and Rennes. After the expected defeat in Madrid, the Bhoys could only muster a 1:1 draw at home against what was second string Udinese line-up, so they cannot be really expected to stop Rennes from winning this game, can they? The team are also very disappointing on domestic stage, where they have won just one of last four games, and it is perfectly clear the visitors enter this match low on confidence.

Defender Badr El-Kaddouri is cup-tied, whereas Gary Hooper, Georgios Samaras and Kris Commons miss out through injury.


Rennes are playing great football this season and after outclassing both Udinese and Atletico Madrid, they should be able to do the same against struggling Celtic. The Bhoys shouldn’t be playing European football in the first place, and they keep proving they don’t deserve to play at this level.

Our prediction: Rennes with -0.75 Asian handicap

Odds: 1.91 (10/11)

Bookmaker: Stan James

We Highly Recommend These Places
Share your Opinion!