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Celtic's UEFA Europa League Group E Opponents - Stade Rennais

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THE 2018/19 UEFA Europa League delivered a classic final in the all-London clash between Chelsea and Arsenal, and some of the continent’s biggest names are lining up again to be in there for this season’s final in Gdansk’s eye-catching Stadion Energa.

Arsenal are in there once more for the 2019/20 tournament along with other giants of the European game such as Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven - plus there are also old European final foes for Celtic in the shape of both Porto and Feyenoord.

The final date of May 27, 2020 may seem a long way away, but so was May 21, 2003 when Celtic started on the Road to Seville and the UEFA Cup final.

The Hoops now embark on another UEFA Europa League journey in their Group E games against Italian giants, Lazio, French Cup holders, Stade Rennais and Romanian champions, CFR Cluj.

You can find all the ticket info for Celtic’s Group E games under the lights of Paradise HERE, and this week’s Celtic View gives the lowdown on each of the Hoops’ Euro opponents from the games ahead.

You can also check out the story of our Group E challengers right here – this time it’s Stade Rennais.

STADIUM

The first team play at Roazhon Park, which has been the site of the stadium since 1912, and the current incarnation, has a capacity of just under 30,000. It was in 2001 that the stadium, based west of the city centre, was rebuilt and open once more for business. Football isn’t the only business on the Roazhon Park CV, though, as, like Celtic Park, it has recently been used for rugby matches. In 2016 it hosted the Top 14 rugby tournament semi-finals. The ground has also hosted international matches of both the French men’s and women’s sides and, just this summer was one of the venues used in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The ground’s record attendance was achieved earlier this year when Stade Rennais hosted Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League last 16 on March 7.

HONOURS

Stade Rennais have yet to lift the Ligue 1 title, but they have become champions of Ligue 2 on two occasions, 1955/56 when they won by one point over Angers, and 1982/83 when the Rennes side held a five-point gap over Nimes Olympique. They have, however, triumphed three times in the Coupe de France, with their most recent win being just last season when they beat Paris Saint-Germain on penalties following extra-time, when they came back from 2-0 down to level the score during the regulation 90 minutes. Stade Rennais’ first French cup win was in season 1964/65 when they beat UA Sedan-Torcy 3-1 after a 2-2 draw – again coming from behind in both games, and in season 1970/71, Rennes beat Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 thanks to a 63rd- minute penalty kick from Andre Guy.

EUROPE

The French side first qualified for Europe in season 1965/66 when they lost to Dukla Prague in the first round of the European Cup-Winners’ Cup. Their next European action saw their first visit to Scotland when they played Rangers in the first round of the same competition and lost 2-1 on aggregate, with a 1-1 draw at home. Celtic and Rennes have met before in competitive action, in the UEFA Europa League group stages back in season 2011/12. The first meeting came on October 20 in France, and it finished 1-1. Celtic defender Cha Du-Ri scored an own goal just after the half-hour mark to give Rennes the lead, but Joe Ledley grabbed an equaliser with 20 minutes of the match remaining. The return game on November 3 at Celtic Park saw the Hoops triumph 3-1 despite going a goal down after just two minutes when Kader Mangane scored. Rennes’ most successful European run was last term when they lost 4-3 on aggregate to Arsenal after winning the first leg 3-1 at home in the UEFA Europe League round of 16.

PLAYERS

Senegal internationalist, M’Baye Niang, made his move to Rennes a permanent one in May this year after an impressive season-long loan with the club, when he netted 13 goals, including 11 in the league. Former Newcastle United winger, Hatem Ben Arfa, joined Rennes from PSG at the start of last season, and he also gives the team great attacking options on the flanks. A number of players departed during the summer, with, among the more notable, Ismaila Sarr moving to Watford in a £25million move. They have, however also added to their ranks during the recent transfer window with Romain Salin returning to France from Sporting Lisbon, while the club also signed Favien Tait from Angers, Jeremy Morel from Lyon and Edouard Mendy moved from Reims.

THIS SEASON

The current term started with a 2-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the French Champions Trophy, their version of the Super Cup, but Rennes gained revenge in a game that really mattered when side from the capital were one of three vanquished team in Renne’s first three Ligue 1 games. They began the campaign with a 1-0 win at Montpellier before welcoming PSG to Roazhon Park and a 2-1 win kept up the pace for Rennes. They followed that up with  2-0 win away at Strasbourg, but slipped to their first league defeat of the season on Sunday when a last-minute goal by Racine Coly, gave Nice a win in Rennes. And, of course, in July of this season, the Hoops and Stade Rennais played out a 0-0 draw here at Celtic Park in a friendly.

STADE RENNAIS FACTFILE

Founded: 1901

Stadium: Roazhon Park

Capacity: 29,778

Manager:  Julien Stephan

League titles: 0

National Cup : 3

Super Cup: 1 (shared)

THE GAMES

Matchday one, Thursday, September 19

Stade Rennais v Celtic, kick-off 5.55pm

Matchday five, Thursday, November 28

Celtic v Stade Rennais kick-off 8pm

All your ticket info HERE

Keep an eye out on Sunday for our lowdown on CFR Cluj right here on celticfc.net




For more news relating to Arsenal, visit our sister site Arsenal Live.
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