PREVIEW: PARIS ST. GERMAIN - RENNES
TRAFTON KENNEY - Friday, April 23, 2010
With a European place now out of reach, Rennes hope to hold on to seventh place when they travel to Parc des Princes Stadium this Saturday to face Coupe de France finalists Paris Saint-Germain.
After sustaining a groin injury in training that kept him out of the games against Lorient and AS Nancy Lorraine – which ended in 1-1 and 0-0 ties, respectively – American defender Carlos Bocanegra is expected to be back at the disposal of Coach Frederic Antonetti after returning to practice last week.
But with midfielder Romain Danze impressing in his absence, even scoring a goal against Lorient, Antonetti will have a difficult decision on his hands about the left-back position.
While Paris Saint-Germain lag six points behind Rennes in 10th place and have been less than stellar so far in Ligue 1 play, the capital team recently advanced to the Coupe de France final after a narrow win over fourth-division Quevilly, the same team that upset Rennes in the competition in February.
With the final against Monaco set for May 1st, Paris Saint-Germain Coach Antoine Kombouare will need to keep his team focused on the task at hand.
That task may be a bit more difficult with Claude Makelele suspended for this Saturday after picking up a red card against Bordeaux on April 10th.
With Rennes' leading goal-scorer Asamoah Gyan hoping to recover from a hamstring injury in time for Saturday, Antonetti may use Jimmy Briand as a lone striker with Ismael Bangoura shifting to the right wing.
Fabien Lemoine returned to normal training on Wednesday and should be available against Paris Saint-Germain, but fellow midfielder Alexaner Tettey is doubtful with an injury.
A win for Rennes would keep them in seventh place.