Seeking a European quarter-final spot for the second time in six seasons, Leicester City make a first visit to France to take on Rennes defending a 2-0 lead.
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Seeking a European quarter-final spot for the second time in six seasons, Leicester City make a first visit to France to take on Rennes with a 2-0 lead from the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16 tie.
• Rennes were confirmed as winners of UEFA Europa Conference League Group G in the autumn after taking 11 points from their first five matches, four each at the expense of Vitesse and Mura, before their final fixture, away to Tottenham, was cancelled and awarded in their favour with a 3-0 forfeit.
• Leicester finished third in UEFA Europa League Group C, two points behind both Spartak Moskva and Napoli, after losing 3-2 away to the Italian club on Matchday 6, but came through their inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League tie in some comfort, defeating Danish side Randers 7-2 on aggregate.
• Two eye-catching finishes – from Marc Albrighton after half an hour and substitute Kelechi Iheanacho three minutes into added time – brought Leicester a 2-0 win in the first leg, making it four defeats out of four without scoring for Rennes in England.
• Leicester are the fourth Premier League team to visit the Roazhon Park in as many seasons. Rennes beat Arsenal 3-1 there in the first leg of the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League round of 16, only to lose the tie after a 0-3 second-leg defeat, and they were then beaten 2-1 at home in added time by Chelsea on Matchday 4 of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League having succumbed to another 3-0 defeat in London three weeks earlier. They then drew 2-2 there against Spurs in their opening game of the UEFA Europa Conference League group stage with goals from Flavien Tait and Gaëtan Laborde, making their all-time record at home to English clubs W2 D1 L1.
• Rennes' sixth-placed finish in last season's Ligue 1 enabled them to become France's first representatives in the UEFA Europa Conference League. The Brittany club are competing in a European group stage for the fourth straight year, their 2020/21 UEFA Champions League adventure following back-to-back UEFA Europa League campaigns.
• Bottom of their UEFA Champions League group, which contained Krasnodar and Sevilla as well as eventual winners Chelsea, Rennes ensured another autumn of continental football as Bruno Génésio's side beat Rosenborg 5-1 on aggregate in their UEFA Europa Conference League play-off. After drawing their opening group game with Spurs they won three in a row, including a double over Slovenian champions Mura, before a 3-3 home draw against Vitesse, in which Laborde scored a hat-trick, confirmed their place in the round of 16 as group winners. They have never reached a major European quarter-final.
• Rennes' 2-1 defeat of Mura on Matchday 4 was one of just three wins in the French club's last ten European home games (D4 L3), although they remain unbeaten at the Roazhon Park in the UEFA Europa Conference League (W2 D2). Only twice in 38 European home games have they won by a margin of more than two goals, most recently a 4-0 victory against Crvena zvezda that completed a 6-1 aggregate success in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• Rennes have lost the first away leg four times previously in UEFA competition, coming back to win twice when the first-leg score was 2-1 but losing both ties in which they trailed 2-0 – against Dukla Praha in the 1965/66 European Cup Winners' Cup preliminary round (0-0 h), the French club's first European tie, and Juventus in the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup final (2-2 h).
• Leicester booked back-to-back appearances in the UEFA Europa League group stage by winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history last May thanks to a 1-0 victory in the final against Chelsea. However, in a repeat of the previous season Brendan Rodgers' side just missed out on UEFA Champions League qualification, finishing fifth in the Premier League after spending almost all of the campaign in the top four.
• UEFA Champions League quarter-finalists in 2016/17, the Foxes won their UEFA Europa League group last season on their competition debut but were eliminated in the round of 32 by Slavia Praha (0-0 a, 0-2 h). This term they won two, drew two and lost two of their six Group C games with Napoli, Legia Warszawa and Spartak, the highlight a 4-3 win in Moscow where new signing Patson Daka scored all four goals. Harvey Barnes and James Maddison both found the net twice as the East Midlanders saw off Randers with ease in the UEFA Europa Conference League knockout round play-off (4-1 h, 3-1 a).
• Leicester have won only five of their 17 away fixtures in UEFA competition (D3 L9), the most impressive of them 3-0 at Club Brugge on their UEFA Champions League debut, the most recent that 3-1 success at Randers, the club's first European victory outside England during the spring (D1 L2).
• Only once previously have Leicester won the first leg at home in a European tie – in that knockout round play-off win against Randers.
UEFA Europa Conference League squad changes
In: Yanis Dede Lhomme, Jérémy Gelin, Chimuanya Ugochukwu
Out: Matthis Abline (Le Havre, loan), Junior Kadile (Famalicão, loan)
In: Wesley Fofana, James Justin
Out: Filip Benković (Udinese), Ryan Bertrand
Links and trivia
• Leicester have two Frenchmen with Ligue 1 experience in their squad – defender Wesley Fofana (St-Étienne 2018–20) and midfielder Boubakary Soumaré (LOSC Lille, 2017–21). Soumaré was a French champion with LOSC last season.
• Leicester's Portuguese defender Ricardo Pereira has also played in the French top flight, on loan at Nice from 2015 to 2017, while Youri Tielemans was a Monaco player between 2017 and January 2019, when he joined Leicester, initially on loan.
• Rennes’ Jérémy Doku and Leicester pair Tielemans and Timothy Castagne are all Belgian internationals who featured at UEFA EURO 2020.
• Kamaldeen Sulemana of Rennes and Leicester's Daniel Amartey were members of Ghana's squad at this year’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations.
• With six goals apiece, Daka and Barnes are Leicester's all-time joint record marksmen in UEFA club competition.
• Rennes coach Génésio suffered defeat against English opposition for the first time in the first leg. In addition to the 2-2 draw with Spurs on Matchday 1, he led Lyon to two victories against Everton in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League group stage (2-1 a, 3-0 h).
• Leicester are one of three reigning domestic cup holders participating in the UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16, along with PAOK and Slavia Praha.
• Rennes and fellow Ligue 1 side Marseille are the only two of last season's 32 UEFA Champions League participants involved in the UEFA Europa Conference League round of 16.
• Rennes made it four Ligue 1 victories in a row on Sunday with a 4-2 win at Lyon, while Leicester's four-match winning run in all competitions ended with a 0-2 Premier League defeat at Arsenal.
• Rennes's record in one UEFA penalty shoot-out is W1 L0:
10-9 v Tavriya Simferopol, 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round
• Leicester have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.