OUR man in France is Julien Laurens and he's looking at Lyon v Rennes.
Julien is a London-based sports correspondent for Le Parisien and a veritable French football expert. He writes in French and English for a number of esteemed publications and is a regular on BT Sport as well as contributing to Unibet.
Lyon v Rennes (Sun 8pm)
Lyon host Rennes on Sunday evening at the Parc OL a week after a heart-breaking defeat in the dying minutes of the game at Monaco last Sunday. Lyon bounced back in midweek in the French Cup with a win away at Montpellier (2-1) but they need to get back to winning ways in the league.
Manager Bruno Genesio was very critical of his players after the loss in Monaco. They didn’t show enough character despite playing at 11 against 10 for a full half. The players have a point to prove on Sunday in front of their own fans. Genesio has all his squad available for his game, apart from right back Rafael, which is a big blow.
He should go back to his 4-3-3 favourite formation as Lucas Tousart is back from suspension after missing the Monaco game. Once again, there will be big competition for places with a lot of candidates in midfield and up front.
Lyon are now fourth in the table after two league defeats in a row, at Bordeaux and Monaco. They have to win on Sunday evening. Lyon have not been very good at home this season, despite beating Monaco and PSG, they have lost to Lille and drawn four times. Nabil Fekir has already scored 12 times at home in Ligue 1 this season. Their record against Rennes though is average. They have only beat them three times in their last 10 visits!
For Rennes, things have been tough lately. They have lost their last three games in all competitions. They are still 10th in the table but they have to be careful not to drop too many points. Manager Sabri Lamouchi is without two key players in left back Ludovic Baal and captain and defensive midfielder Benjamin André. It is a huge blow to be without them both for this tough game. I think Lyon will win quite comfortably.