PREVIEW: LORIENT - RENNES
Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes will need to rebound from last week's 2-1 loss to Lyon when they face Lorient this Saturday if they hope to keep their increasingly distant hopes of a place in Europe alive.
After picking up a knock earlier this week, Bocanegra was rested on Tuesday before returning to the training ground on Wednesday for light treatment. He is expected to recover in time for the trip to the Stade du Moustoir.
Rennes Coach Frederic Antonetti will also be hoping for attacking talisman Sylvain Marveaux to recover in time for Saturday from a similar injury for which he received treatment from Rennes medical staff on Wednesday.
The two teams are tied in the standings, with Rennes just edging out Lorient on goal differential. Lorient are coming off a narrow 2-1 win over last-place Grenoble after James Fanchone's 85th minute winner.
Bocanegra and the Rennes defence, who spent the latter half of last week's game against Lyon under siege from Lisandro Lopez and Michel Bastos, will need to focus on the threat posed by 22-year old striker Kevin Gameiro, whose 13 goals this season matches the output of his Rennes counterpart, Asamoah Gyan. Morgan Amalfitano and Marama Vahirua are dangerous passing from the midfield.
Rennes have enjoyed the advantage in their last three meetings with Lorient, Les Rouges et Noirs winning twice over the past two seasons and playing to a scoreless tie back in 2006.
In their past five home games, Lorient have recorded three wins, a tie, and a 3-1 loss to Lyon. With the recent play of Gyan, Marveaux, and particularly the resurgence of Briand, Rennes may prove the most potent offence Lorient have faced since their trip to Marseille in early March.
Tied at 49 points, Rennes and Lorient will be looking for a win to gain ground on the next team in the standings, Lille, who square off against Lyon in the marquee matchup of Ligue 1 this weekend.