FC Stade Rennes at ASM Belfort
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 2:55 PM (Stade Roger-Serzian)
Belfort host Rennes at Stade August Bonal on Tuesday night for the first of four Coupe de France quarter-final ties this week. Can the fourth-tier outfit upset the odds again and claim another Ligue 1 scalp?
Belfort kicked off their Coupe de France campaign with a slender 1-0 victory over third-tier side Ajaccio before beating Jeunesse Evolution 2-0 in the next round. Belfort then overcame Montceau 3-0 in the Round of 64 before claiming a fin win against second-tier outfit Nancy to set up a Round of 16 tie with Ligue 1 side Montpellier. Against all odds, Belfort beat Montpellier in the previous round to book their place in the last eight.
However, things haven’t been going so well in the league. Belfort have only managed to win five of their 18 league games this season and come into the quarter-finals on a four-game winless streak. Three defeats and one draw have seen Belfort slip to ninth in the table and the team has struggled to find the back of the net recently.
Rennes route to the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France has been far from straightforward. Rennes drew fellow Ligue 1 side Amiens in the Round of 64 and eventually progressed following a penalty shootout. A comfortable 2-0 win against Marseille Consolat was followed by a frantic 5-4 win against Angers in the Round of 16. Still, Belfort will be the lowest ranked team that Rennes have had to face in the competition this year.
Despite winning just one of their previous four league games, Rennes remain third in the Ligue 1 table. However, with Marseille eight points clear in second and Lille only one point behind, Rennes are in danger of slipping down the top flight table. Additionally, it’s worth pointing out no team in the top nine has scored fewer goals than Rennes. Having said that, Julien Stephan’s side do boast one of the best defensive records in the division.
Prediction and Pick
Rennes are flying high in Ligue 1, while Belfort are languishing in mid-table in the fourth tier. The bookies odds certainly mirror the gulf between the two teams, with the Belfort win at 11.00 and the Rennes win at just 1.25. I think Rennes will win comfortably but odds of 1.25 aren’t worth bothering with. Belfort are likely to put up a fight, and considering the respective goalscoring records of the two teams, it makes sense to add the under 3.5 goals market into the mix to boost the odds. I’m backing Rennes to clinch a low-scoring victory.