Eliminated Rennes will hope to end a run of four successive Group E defeats as they host a Lazio side that must win.
Article top media content
While Rennes are guaranteed to finish bottom of Group E, the French side will hope to end a run of four successive defeats in the section as they host Lazio, who must win in France and hope for a favour from group winners Celtic to sneak into the UEFA Europa League knockout phase for the third year in a row.
• Rennes drew 1-1 at home to Celtic on Matchday 1 but have lost all four games since, their elimination mathematically sealed after Matchday 4. Lazio, who were defeated in three of their first four fixtures, gave themselves a lifeline by beating CFR Cluj 1-0 at home last time out – a result that gave them head-to-head superiority over the Romanian side while reducing the gap between the clubs to three points.
• Lazio will go through if they beat Rennes and CFR lose at home to Celtic. Any other combination of results will eliminate the Italian side.
• The clubs had not met in UEFA competition until Matchday 2, when Lazio came from a goal down to beat Rennes 2-1 in Rome with goals from Sergej Milinković-Savić and Ciro Immobile.
• Rennes' two previous home games against Italian clubs have both ended in draws – 2-2 versus Juventus in the second leg of the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup final, which they lost 4-2 on aggregate, and 0-0 against Udinese in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Lazio have now won 11 of their 21 UEFA games against French opponents. Away from home they have won four and lost four of their ten matches, posting 3-1 wins on each of their last two visits – UEFA Europa League group stage encounters against Nice in 2017/18 and Marseille in 2018/19, Felipe Caicedo scoring in both.
• 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 have lost only two of their last 16 UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League home fixtures, qualifying included (W7 D7) – both on Matchday 3 against Dynamo Kyiv last season (1-2) and CFR Cluj this term (0-1).
• 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.
• Runners-up to Inter in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup, the Biancocelesti's 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 went 11 away games unbeaten in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, from October 2013 until a 2-3 defeat at Zulte Waregem in December 2017, equalling Fiorentina's competition record. However, they have now lost eight of their last ten (W2), including five of the last six in the group stage, the exception that 3-1 win in Marseille.
Links and trivia
• Rennes midfielder Clément Grenier played six Serie A games on loan to Lazio's city rivals Roma in 2017.
• M'Baye Niang was an AC Milan player from 2012–18 before joining Rennes; he 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. This is their 70th game in the competition, group stage to final – only Villarreal (74) have played more.
• Pépé Bonet, who came on after Edouard Mendy's red card in Rennes' Matchday 3 defeat at home to CFR, became the youngest goalkeeper ever to appear in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, aged 16 years and 253 days – and the fifth youngest player overall.
• Rennes have won all three of their Ligue 1 matches since Matchday 5 to move up to fourth in the table, while Lazio came from behind to defeat Italian champions Juventus 3-1 in Rome last Saturday and thus record their seventh successive Serie A win, moving to within three points of Juve and five of league leaders Internazionale.
• 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.
• 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.