After picking up a winner from the FA Cup, Kev hopes to do the same in the French Cup.
"The hosts are having an awful run in the league, while Rennes have momentum, and a trophy to defend."
More pain for Puel
St Etienne v Rennes
Thursday 5 March, 19:55
Live on Betfair Live Video
We experienced the joys of the Asian Handicap market last night, as Leicester City struck late to dump Birmingham out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win, but the one-and-a-half goal start we gave the Blues proved crucial.
We'll stick with the cup theme, because St Etienne are up against Coupe de France holders Rennes in the semi-finals.
Rennes beat mighty PSG in last season's final, and as well as chasing Champions League qualification through their Ligue 1 placing, they are also making an excellent fist of retaining the trophy. They are well coached by former youth team boss Julien Stephan, and 17-year-old midfielder Eduardo Camavinga has been a revelation.
Rennes have won back-to-back games in Ligue 1, and in this competition they have dug in and found a way to stay alive. They overcame Amiens on penalties after a goalless stalemate, and won 5-4 at Angers after extra time. In all competitions, SRFC have won five of their last eight away games.
St Etienne have already lost to Rennes in the league, and they are having a torrid time under experienced but polarising coach Claude Puel. Talented goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier has totally fallen out with the former Leicester and Southampton boss, and has been dropped, a sign that all is not well.
ASSE lost 1-0 at bitter rivals Lyon on Sunday in the Rhône derby, and relegation is a live runner. Les Verts have lost nine of their last 11 in the league, and are only a couple of points above the dropzone. They average barely above a goal a game, and they have one of the worst defensive records in the division.
In the cup, Puel's men impressively won 1-0 at Monaco, but their other three ties were against sides outside the top flight. Rennes have the quality and the momentum to beat them here, so I'll back them To Qualify at 4/5 on the Sportsbook.
Points Staked: 36
Points Returned: 33.86
P/L: -2.14 points
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Back Rennes To Qualify at 4/5 on the Sportsbook