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Rennes vs Chelsea: UEFA Champions League background, form guide, previous meetings

Rennes welcome unbeaten Chelsea to France with qualification from Group E slipping away and still seeking a first UEFA Champions League win.

Rennes' Benjamin Bourigeaud takes on Chelsea's Timo Werner
Rennes' Benjamin Bourigeaud takes on Chelsea's Timo Werner Getty Images

Rennes will look to get their first UEFA Champions League win on the board at the fourth time of asking as unbeaten Chelsea come to Brittany level on points with Sevilla at the top of Group E.

• Rennes have taken one point from their first three European Cup matches, and were beaten 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Matchday 3, Timo Werner converting two first-half penalties before Tammy Abraham added a third after the break.

• That gave the English club seven points in the section, level with Sevilla and six ahead of both Rennes and Krasnodar at the halfway point of the group stage. If the Blues prevail in France and Sevilla win at Krasnodar in Group A's other Matchday 4 encounter, both will be guaranteed a top-two finish.

Form guide

Highlights: Chelsea 3-0 Rennes

• The Ligue 1 side opened their first UEFA Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Krasnodar, Sehrou Guirassy scoring Rennes' first ever European Cup goal, but subsequently lost at Sevilla (0-1) and Chelsea.

• Rennes are making their European Cup debut in 2020/21 having finished third in Ligue 1 last season.

• The Brittany club have played 65 matches in UEFA competition, 42 of them in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League.

• This is Rennes' third successive season playing European football, a club first.

• Having reached the UEFA Europa League round of 16 in 2018/19, Julien Stéphan's side finished fourth in their section in the same competition last season, picking up four points to finish behind Celtic, CFR Cluj and Lazio.

• Rennes were 2-0 winners at home to Lazio on Matchday 6 in last season's UEFA Europa League, their only win in their last ten European matches (D2 L7).

• Les Rouge et Noir are the 11th Ligue 1 club to take part in the UEFA Champions League group stage and the first French debutants since Montpellier in 2012/13.

Highlights: Sevilla 1-0 Rennes

• The Brittany side have won nine of their last 17 home European matches, losing only two.

• Rennes have won both home games against English clubs, losing all three away. They beat Arsenal 3-1 in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg, but bowed out after a 3-0 loss in London; they also beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup semi-final first leg, losing the tie on away goals following a 1-0 second-leg defeat.

• Held 0-0 at home by Sevilla on Matchday 1, the London club were 4-0 winners at Krasnodar in their next fixture before beating Rennes.

• Fourth in the Premier League in 2019/20, this is Chelsea's 17th venture into the UEFA Champions League group stage and a third in four years. The exception came in 2018/19, when they won the UEFA Europa League under Maurizio Sarri.

• Chelsea's last four UEFA Champions League campaigns have all ended in the round of 16. In 2019/20 they were heavily beaten home (0-3) and away (1-4) by eventual champions Bayern München at that stage. The loss in Munich is the London club's only defeat in 12 European away matches (W8 D3).

Highlights: Krasnodar 0-4 Chelsea

• Last season Frank Lampard's side recovered from a Matchday 1 defeat at home to Valencia (0-1) to progress as Group H runners-up with 11 points, finishing behind the Spanish side on head-to-head record.

• Despite victories on Matchdays 2 and 3, the Blues have won only three of their last eight UEFA Champions League matches (D3 L2).

• European champions in 2012 having been runners-up four years earlier, Chelsea have reached the round of 16 on 14 occasions.

• The London side have won their UEFA Champions League group 11 times, although they have been runners-up in their section on each of their last two participations.

• Chelsea won 2-1 away and at home against LOSC Lille in last season's UEFA Champions League group stage, Abraham scoring in both games with César Azpilicueta getting the winner in the second at Stamford Bridge.

Highlights: Chelsea 0-0 Sevilla

• Chelsea have still won only four of their last ten games against French clubs, home and away (D2 L4).

• Last season's win at LOSC was only Chelsea's second in nine away matches in France (D2 L5).

Links and trivia
• Edouard Mendy joined Chelsea from Rennes this summer, making 24 Ligue 1 appearances for Rennes in his sole season with the club.

• The Senegalese international played for various clubs in Le Havre at youth level before launching his professional career at Cherbourg in 2011. He stayed until 2014 and has subsequently represented Marseille B (2015/16), Reims (2016–19) and Rennes in France.

• Have also played in France:
Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain 2012–20)
Kurt Zouma (St-Étienne 2011–14)
César Azpilicueta (Marseille 2010–12)
Olivier Giroud (Grenoble 2005–07, Istres 2007/08, Tours 2008–10, Montpellier 2010–12)
N'Golo Kanté (Boulogne 2012/13, Caen 2013–15)

• International team-mates:
Eduardo Camavinga, Steven Nzonzi & Olivier Giroud, N'Golo Kanté, Kurt Zouma (France)
Nayef Aguerd & Hakim Ziyech (Morocco)

• Petr Čech, now Chelsea's technical and performance adviser, spent two seasons at Rennes between 2002 and 2004, making 70 Ligue 1 appearances before signing for the English club.

Latest news

• Thirteen Rennes players made their first appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, on Matchday 1, including goalscorer Sehrou Guirassy. Only Steven Nzonzi and Martin Terrier had previously appeared in the competition.

• Having been unbeaten in their first seven Ligue 1 fixtures this season (W4 D3), Rennes have lost three of their last four matches, going down 1-0 at home to Bordeaux on Friday. They were also beaten 2-1 at home to Angers on 23 October and 3-0 at Paris Saint-Germain on 7 November either side of a 2-1 home win against Brest.

Highlights: Rennes 1-1 Krasnodar

• The loss to Paris was Rennes' heaviest Ligue 1 reverse since a 4-1 defeat away to the same opponents on 27 January 2019.

• Rennes have won one of their last nine matches in all competitions (D3 L5), since a 3-0 Ligue 1 success at St-Étienne on 26 September that was their fourth successive victory.

• On 7 October Eduardo Camavinga, aged 17 years 333 days, became France's youngest goalscorer since Maurice Gastiger against Switzerland in March 1914. Camavinga scored the opening goal in a 7-1 friendly win against Ukraine at the Stade de France.

• Camavinga had already became the youngest player to represent France since Gastiger in 1914 when he made his senior debut aged 17 years 304 days in the UEFA Nations League game against Croatia on 8 September (4-2).

• Camavinga is also the youngest player to sign a professional contract with Rennes (17 years 35 days, December 2018), the first player born in 2002 to feature in one of Europe's top five leagues (April 2019) and the youngest goalscorer in Rennes' history (v Lyon, December 2019, 17 years 36 days).

• Daniele Rugani (thigh) has not played since having to be replaced at Sevilla on Matchday 2.

• Camavinga played 90 minutes in Friday, his first appearance since going off after an hour at Angers on 23 October with a thigh injury.

Highlights: Internazionale 1-0 Rennes

• Faitout Maouassa suffered an ankle injury against Monaco on 9 September and has not played since, although he resumed full training over the international break.

• Hamari Traoré captained Mali to a 2-1 win in Namibia in CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifying on 17 November.

• Adrien Truffert earned his first cap for France's Under-21 side in a 5-0 win away to Liechtenstein on 12 November, helping his team reach next summer's UEFA European Championship.

• Chelsea are unbeaten in 12 games in all competitions (W7 D5) and have won their last five matches. They were 2-0 victors at Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday.

• The London club have scored 16 goals in those five victories, conceding only one.

• Chelsea have won eight of their 14 fixtures in all competitions this season, losing only one – 2-0 at home to champions Liverpool in the Premier League on 20 September.

• Having managed Chelsea for 62 matches without a goalless draw, Frank Lampard oversaw two scoreless matches in succession – against Sevilla and at Manchester United in the Premier League – before the current five-game winning streak.

• The Blues have scored 22 goals in their nine Premier League matches in 2020/21, and have managed three or more in nine of their last 15 league fixtures.

Great Chelsea Champions League goals

• Tammy Abraham, who got the second goal on Saturday, has scored in Chelsea's last three matches.

• Edouard Mendy kept clean sheets on his first three Premier League appearances for Chelsea, the first goalkeeper to do so since Petr Čech in 2004. He has kept seven clean sheets in his nine Blues outings, David McGoldrick's ninth-minute goal for Sheffield United in Chelsea's 4-1 home win on 7 November ending his run of 556 minutes without conceding.

• Olivier Giroud is now seven goals behind France's record scorer Thierry Henry having taken his international tally to 44 with a double in France's 4-2 win at home to Sweden on 17 November, three days after club colleague N'Golo Kanté's goal secured a 1-0 win away to Portugal that booked the world champions' place at next year's UEFA Nations League Finals.

• Timo Werner scored twice, taking his tally to 15 international goals, as Germany defeated Ukraine 3-1 in the UEFA Nations League on 14 November at his former home ground in Leipzig.

• Jorginho's penalty helped Italy to a 2-0 UEFA Nations League win at home to Poland on 15 November; three days later, Jorginho and Emerson, who had also played 90 minutes against Poland, were in the team that won 2-0 in Bosnia and Herzegovina to book a Finals place.

• On 17 November, Mateo Kovačić scored his second and third international goals – and his first since June 2015 – as Croatia lost 3-2 at home to Portugal in the UEFA Nations League.

• On 13 November, Hakim Ziyech got two goals in Morocco's 4-1 CAF Africa Cup of Nations win against the Central African Republic and also opened the scoring in the subsequent 2-0 victory away to the same opponents four days later.

• Mason Mount scored England's second goal in a 4-0 UEFA Nations League win at home to Iceland on 18 November.

• Callum Hudson-Odoi was on target against both Andorra (3-1) and Albania (5-0) in qualifying for the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

2019/20 highlights: Bayern 4-1 Chelsea

• Billy Gilmour, who had been sidelined by a knee injury since 9 July, returned as a substitute in Scotland's 2-2 draw at home to Croatia in 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying on 12 November, although he was sent off eight minutes after his introduction.

• Christian Pulišić came on as a late substitute in the 4-0 home win against Crystal Palace on 3 October, his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury in the FA Cup final defeat by Arsenal on 1 August. The American has made five appearances this season, including Chelsea's first two Group E games, but has not played since suffering another hamstring injury in the warm-up ahead of the 3-0 win at Burnley on 31 October.

• Kai Havertz, whose last appearance came on 31 October, has been sidelined by illness.