Defeated away from home in their opening Group E fixture, Lazio will be looking to recover in Rome against Rennes.
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Defeated in their opening UEFA Europa League Group E fixture after losing a lead, Lazio will be looking to recover that ground in Rome against Rennes, the French side having also scored first in their matchday one draw.
• Having gone ahead against CFR Cluj in Romania through Angolan defender Bastos, Lazio fell to a 2-1 defeat, while M'Baye Niang's penalty also provided Rennes with only a temporary lead at home to Scottish champions Celtic, who replied after the interval with a spot kick of their own to claim a 1-1 draw.
• The clubs have never previously met in UEFA competition.
• Lazio have won ten of their 20 UEFA encounters with French opponents and six of the ten games at home including all of the last three, the latest of which came in last season's UEFA Europa League when they defeated Marseille 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico on matchday four with goals from Marco Parolo and Joaquín Correa – two weeks after a 3-1 win in the south of France.
• Rennes' two previous visits to Italy both ended in defeat, most recently in 2011/12 at Udinese (1-2) in the club's very first UEFA Europa League group game.
• Lazio defeated Atalanta 2-0 in last season's Coppa Italia final to lift the trophy for the seventh time and gain direct access to the UEFA Europa League group stage – a competition they exited in the round of 32 last season after losing home (0-1) and away (0-2) to Sevilla.
• Their last six UEFA Europa League group stage participations have all been successful – after failure in the first – and they have topped their section on three occasions. Their best performances came in 2012/13 and 2017/18, when they reached the quarter-finals.
• Lazio’s home record in the UEFA Europa League group stage is W14 D4 L3. They were on a run of 17 group games undefeated in Rome (W13 D4) until they lost 1-2 to Eintracht Frankfurt on matchday six last season. That was followed by the defeat against Sevilla, which means their last home win in Europe was that 2-1 success against Marseille.
• Rennes earned their second successive direct qualification to the UEFA Europa League group stage by defeating holders Paris Saint-Germain on penalties in a dramatic 2018/19 French Cup final. They also reached the UEFA Europa League round of 16 last term, finishing second in their group with nine points and knocking out Real Betis before succumbing 4-3 on aggregate to eventual runners-up Arsenal (3-1 h, 0-3 a).
• The Brittany club are in their third UEFA Europa League group stage, the first of their campaigns in 2011/12 having ended unsuccessfully after three home draws and three away defeats. Rennes also participated twice in the UEFA Cup group stage, in 2005/06 and 2007/08, but were winless in those too (D2 L6).
• Rennes were beaten in their first nine away fixtures in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stages but that sequence ended on matchday five last season with a win at Jablonec (1-0) that was followed by another at Betis (3-1) before their decisive round of 16 second-leg reverse at Arsenal.
Links and trivia
• Rennes midfielder Clément Grenier played six Serie A games on loan to Lazio's city rivals Roma in 2017.
• Niang was an AC Milan player from 2012–18 before joining Rennes and also played in Serie A on loan with Genoa and Torino.
• Lazio are appearing in the UEFA Europa League group stage for the eighth time this season, matching Salzburg's competition record.
• Lazio boss since April 2016, when he replaced Stefano Pioli, Simone Inzaghi represented the club as a forward between 1999 and 2010, winning the Italian double in his debut season and the Coppa Italia twice more in later years. The younger brother of fellow ex-Italian international Filippo Inzaghi, with whom he played at home-town outfit Piacenza, he began coaching Lazio's youth teams immediately after hanging up his boots. His first trophy as head coach was the 2017 Italian Super Cup, his second the Coppa Italia two years later.
• Handed the coaching reins at Rennes on an interim basis in December 2018, reserve team boss Julien Stéphan made such a positive impact that he was soon handed an 18-month deal. In the spring of 2019 the Rennes native not only led the Brittany club into the UEFA Europa League round of 16 but also to a sensational Coupe de France final victory on penalties against Paris Saint-Germain. He is the son of Guy Stéphan, the assistant coach to Didier Deschamps of reigning world champions France.