Cup winners to celebrate in style
Rennes v Monaco
Wednesday 01 May, 18:00
Live on BT Sport Extra
Our French fancy didn't taste very nice last night. PSG were 2-1 up with ten minutes to go at Montpellier, and somehow contrived to lose 3-2. Quel dommage, indeed.
We'll stay in France, because Coupe de France heroes Rennes are taking on a Monaco side that looked safe a few weeks ago, but could still sleepwalk into relegation.
It's been an extraordinary season for Rennes. Coach Sabri Lamouchi was ditched after a run of poor results, and Julien Stephan was promoted from within. Stephan was wanted by Thierry Henry as the Monaco and Arsenal legend took the coaching reins at the Stade Louis Deux, but Rennes held onto their man, and he has delivered the club's first major trophy since the 1970s.
Rennes beat PSG on penalties at the weekend to win the Coupe de France after fighting back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2. Rennes were a whisker away from knocking Arsenal out of the Europa League, and in Ligue 1 they are safe in mid-table. Although their recent away form (they have lost at Dijon and Nimes) has shown they have had other priorities, they have still lost just one of their last nine home matches in Ligue 1.
Monaco have had a hugely disappointing campaign. Long-serving coach Leonardo Jardim was jettisoned after a run of poor results, Henry's first attempt at coaching a top-flight team was an unmitigated disaster, and now Jardim is trying to pick up the pieces. Monaco had flickered into life upon the return of the Portuguese coach, but they have now taken just two points from their last four games, and they have only won one of their last eight on the road.
Monaco's price of 2.166/5 to win this must be based on the assumption that Rennes have nothing to play for, and are drained after their cup exploits. However, their home form is strong, and they have something to celebrate. All of the pressure is on Monaco, so I'll back Home and Draw in the Double Chance market here at 1.845/6.