Week 4 Match Preview: SM Caen v Stade Rennais
It’s Normandy v Brittany as Stade Rennais face SM Caen in Week 4 of Ligue 1 although the match itself will be played at Le Mans ground, MMArena due to the World Equestrian Championships being played at Caen’ normal home ground, le Stade Michel d’Ornano.
This will be a tougher match for les Rouges et Noirs than perhaps originally expected. The teams played each other in a pre-season friendly with Caen coming out 2-0 winners, although many in that Stade Rennais squad won’t be in action on Saturday night. Caen then went on to make an excellent start to life back in Ligue 1. They flew out of the blocks with a 0-3 win away to Evian Thonon Gaillard. Only a dreadful refereeing error in awarding Lille a penalty and sending off Dennis Appiah, meant they went down to a 0-1 home (in Le Mans) loss. Caen recovered from that to record their first ever win over Reims in a trip to the Champagne region.
A number of players have stood out for Caen so far this season including N’Golo Kante, top scorer Mathieu Duhamel and goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre. There is plenty to link the two teams ahead of this match in addition to the neighbourly departments. Longstanding Stade Rennais fan favourite, Julien Feret, will line up as Caen captain against his former teammates. Feret has used his quiet yet authoritative demeanour to great effect and whilst it is sad not to see him wearing the “rouge et noir“, it is nice to see him playing regular Ligue 1 football. Former La Piverdière product Damien Perquis will be on the Caen bench as reserve goalkeeper.
It is in the goalkeeper department we see the final major link between the two teams. Caen born Benoit Costil joined the Normandy team when he was 8 and although he went on to only play 15 games for the senior side in Ligue 2, still has plenty of connections with his hometown team. His mother and father regularly volunteer their services on match days and his brother, Eddy, helps train the goalkeepers at the club.
Stade Rennais welcome back Kamil Grosicki into their match day squad as he makes his return from injury. New signing Fallou Diagne is also in the squad at the expense of Cedric Hountondji who has gone on loan to Chateauroux. Christian Bruls, Axel Ngando and Benjamin Andre are still out injured. Zana Allee, Adrien Hunou, Wesley Said and Gjoko Zajkov playing with the CFA2 team with Said, Allee and Hunou all rumoured to be sent on loan. Jean Makoun II and Jean-Armal Kana-Biyik remain out of the squad as they seek moves away from the club.
With this in mind, there shouldn’t be too many changes from the Saint-Etienne game and so would expect Stade Rennais to line up as follows:
This will be a tough game for les Rouges et Noirs and I predict a 1-1 draw.