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Arsenal have a difficult task to overcome two-goal deficit from the first-leg match if they are to eliminate Rennes and make it through to the quarter-finals of UEFA Europa League. As You probably know, the French side won 3:1 last Thursday at Roazhon Park. However, Arsenal will not give up easily. The Gunners were successful in the previous round, even lost 1:0 to BATE Borisov in Belarus in the first match. Unai Emery's men won 3:0 in the second-leg match and qualified into the last 16. Three goals were scored by three different players - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos. The domestic form is also good, Arsenal managed to beat Manchester United this weekend. The North London side have three wins and one draw on the last four matches in the Premier League. Emery will try to secure progress here, though he has some injury and suspension issues. Danny Welbeck, Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding remain long-term absentees, while Sokratis Papastathopoulos is suspended after being sent off in France. The problems in the defense are even bigger as Laurent Koscielny suffered a leg injury against Manchester United and he is rated as doubtful. Alexandre Lacazette is eligible to play after his ban was reduced to two matches - which he has already served.
Rennes were fantastic in the first match and deserved the victory. They remained confident even conceded an early goal. Benjamin Bourigeaud immediately equalized with a stunning strike into the top right corner, while Nacho Monreal's own goal and Ismaila Sarr's late header secured two-goal advantage for Rennes. Just to mention, Sarr has been directly involved in six goals in the Europa League this season (scored four and assisted two), more than any other player for the French side. Rennes are unbeaten in five games in Europe League, winning four of them. They beat Arsenal, Betis, Astana and Jablonec, while drew with Betis in the reverse fixture. It's their longest-ever run without defeat in European competition. This is the most successful Euro campaign in their 117-year history. The atmosphere in the squad is positive, while the players confidence is high. The domestic form is also good, Rennes won 3:1 against Caen last weekend. The Red and Blacks are on the eighth place in domestic Ligue 1, albeit just three points off fifth place with a game in hand to play. Coach Julien Stephan has some good news ahead of this match. Hamari Traore is back from suspension and should make an immediate return, while James Lea Siliki is available after recovering from injury. Four players remain out injured - Jordan Siebatcheu, Romain Danze, Abdoulaye Diallo and Ludovic Baal.
Arsenal vs Rennes Prediction:
I expect both teams to score at the Emirats. Arsenal have to score at least twice to keep their promotion hopes alive. I am sure they will strongly attack from the very first minute. But Rennes are solid team and they will have lot of free space. Knowing the Gunners' defensive vulnerability and the fact that some defenders are injured and suspended, I believe Rennes will score here. Just to add, the French side have scored on the last seven occasions in the Europe League this season.
Arsenal vs Rennes Pick: Both teams to score - Yes @ 1.90 with Bet365
For Benfica - Dinamo Zagreb, the Portuguese are asked to overturn 1-0 in the first match if they want to go through the Europa League quarter-finals. Low but probably the victory for the "eagles" of Lisbon SL BENFICA vs GNK DINAMO ZAGREB @@ SL BENFICA, odds 1.47
Napoli has a much clearer landscape as he traveled to Salzburg with a 3-0 pillow in the first race. Everything for all the Austrians, so it's perfectly reasonable to choose the many goals FC SALZBURG vs SSC NAPOLI @@ +2.50 Over, odds 1.65
Valencia has a 2-1 away from the first match with her, but her work remains quite difficult in the rematch. The home team can score and stand out for both teams to score FC KRASNODAR vs CF VALENCIA @@ Both team to score, odds 1.75