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Can Stade Rennes Knock Arsenal Out With The Help of These FOUR World Class Players In Their Ranks As Europa League Draw Results Are Revealed

Rennes ,Arsedevils

Arsenal have been pitted against Ligue 1 side Stade Rennes in the last 16 of the Europa League. They will face the French side across two legs, with the first leg being played at the Roazhon Park on March 7. The return leg will be played at the Emirates on March 14.

The draw against Rennes was supposed to be played at the Emirates first, but UEFA switched the fixtures because of a little-known “city-clash” rule. This is due to the fact that Chelsea will play Dynamo Kiev at the same time in London. This means a tricky situation for Arsenal, as their trip to France is sandwiched between two vital clashes against Tottenham (away) and Manchester United (home).

Arsenal are favourites to win the fixture against Rennes, who sit 11th in the Ligue 1 table. However, considering this fixture a mere walkover would be a mistake, as Rennes have proved their credibility by beating Real Betis 3-1 in Seville.

This match will be special for two players involved. Petr Cech is returning to the club where he made his name before moving to the Premier League. Cech played for Rennes between 2002 and 2004, before being snapped up by Chelsea.

Hatem Ben Arfa is another one who will be looking forward to his clash against his former boss Unai Emery. Ben Arfa famously fell out with Emery during their time in Paris Saint-Germain, with the French midfielder missing out an entire season of football after being frozen out by Emery.

The Europa League presents an opportunity to get a Champions League berth for Arsenal, and they will need to keep an eye on the following players to keep out Rennes:


The Senegal international is no stranger to Arsenal fans, after he was heavily linked to the Gunners during the winter transfer window. He has a lighting quick pace, and combined with his ability to play on both flanks and his flair for cracking in long-range worldies, he can be a real threat to the Arsenal flanks.


Sarr’s international teammate Niang, who has previously been compared to Mario Ballotelli, can be a lethal weapon on the frontline. While the Senegalese striker isn’t the most consistent performer, he has the ability to hurt teams when he is on the top of his game. He is a lethal poacher and can pack a decent shot, and Arsenal should ignore him at their own risk.


Former France international Grenier has been a mainstay for Rennes, where he has functioned as a creative outlet for the Ligue 1 side. He already has two goals in the Europa League this season, and he was vital in his side’s victory against Real Betis. Grenier would need to be at his very best if Rennes plan to mount a strong defence against Arsenal.


As mentioned earlier, this match is a special one for Ben Arfa, as this allows him to take revenge on his old foe Unai Emery. The pair worked together at PSG, and they had a public fall out that resulted in the French midfielder missing out on an entire season of football. Ben Arfa has been the main player for Rennes after leaving PSG, and beating Arsenal in front of the home crowd would be the sweetest revenge for him.

Sushruta Bhattacharjee
Part-time writer and full-time procrastinator.

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