Rennes will look to get their first UEFA Champions League win on the board at the fourth time of asking as unbeaten Chelsea come to Brittany level on points with Sevilla at the top of Group E.
• Rennes have taken one point from their first three European Cup matches, and were beaten 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Matchday 3, Timo Werner converting two first-half penalties before Tammy Abraham added a third after the break.
• That gave the English club seven points in the section, level with Sevilla and six ahead of both Rennes and Krasnodar at the halfway point of the group stage.
• The Ligue 1 side opened their first UEFA Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Krasnodar, Sehrou Guirassy scoring Rennes’ first ever European Cup goal, but subsequently lost at Sevilla (0-1) and Chelsea.
• Rennes are making their European Cup debut in 2020/21 having finished third in Ligue 1 last season.
• The Brittany club have played 65 matches in UEFA competition, 42 of them in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League.
• This is Rennes’ third successive season playing European football, a club first.
• Having reached the UEFA Europa League round of 16 in 2018/19, Julien Stéphan’s side finished fourth in their section in the same competition last season, picking up four points to finish behind Celtic, CFR Cluj and Lazio.
• Rennes were 2-0 winners at home to Lazio on Matchday 6 in last season’s UEFA Europa League, their only win in their last ten European matches (D2 L7).
• Les Rouge et Noir are the 11th Ligue 1 club to take part in the UEFA Champions League group stage and the first French debutants since Montpellier in 2012/13.
• The Brittany side have won nine of their last 17 home European matches, losing only two.
• Rennes have won both home games against English clubs, losing all three away. They beat Arsenal 3-1 in the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg, but bowed out after a 3-0 loss in London; they also beat Aston Villa 2-1 in the 2001 UEFA Intertoto Cup semi-final first leg, losing the tie on away goals following a 1-0 second-leg defeat.
• Held 0-0 at home by Sevilla on Matchday 1, the London club were 4-0 winners at Krasnodar in their next fixture before beating Rennes.
• Fourth in the Premier League in 2019/20, this is Chelsea’s 17th venture into the UEFA Champions League group stage and a third in four years. The exception came in 2018/19, when they won the UEFA Europa League under Maurizio Sarri.
• Chelsea’s last four UEFA Champions League campaigns have all ended in the round of 16. In 2019/20 they were heavily beaten home (0-3) and away (1-4) by eventual champions Bayern München at that stage. The loss in Munich is the London club’s only defeat in 12 European away matches (W8 D3).
• Last season Frank Lampard’s side recovered from a Matchday 1 defeat at home to Valencia (0-1) to progress as Group H runners-up with 11 points, finishing behind the Spanish side on head-to-head record.
• Despite victories on Matchdays 2 and 3, the Blues have won only three of their last eight UEFA Champions League matches (D3 L2).
• European champions in 2012 having been runners-up four years earlier, Chelsea have reached the round of 16 on 14 occasions.
• The London side have won their UEFA Champions League group 11 times, although they have been runners-up in their section on each of their last two participations.
• Chelsea won 2-1 away and at home against LOSC Lille in last season’s UEFA Champions League group stage, Abraham scoring in both games with César Azpilicueta getting the winner in the second at Stamford Bridge.
• Chelsea have still won only four of their last ten games against French clubs, home and away (D2 L4).
• Last season’s win at LOSC was only Chelsea’s second in nine away matches in France (D2 L5).
Links and trivia
• Edouard Mendy joined Chelsea from Rennes this summer, making 24 Ligue 1 appearances for Rennes in his sole season with the club.
• The Senegalese international played for various clubs in Le Havre at youth level before launching his professional career at Cherbourg in 2011. He stayed until 2014 and has subsequently represented Marseille B (2015/16), Reims (2016–19) and Rennes in France.
• Have also played in France:
Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain 2012–20)
Kurt Zouma (St-Étienne 2011–14)
César Azpilicueta (Marseille 2010–12)
Olivier Giroud (Grenoble 2005–07, Istres 2007/08, Tours 2008–10, Montpellier 2010–12)
N’Golo Kanté (Boulogne 2012/13, Caen 2013–15)
• International team-mates:
Eduardo Camavinga, Steven Nzonzi & Olivier Giroud, N’Golo Kanté, Kurt Zouma (France)
Nayef Aguerd & Hakim Ziyech (Morocco)
• Petr Čech, now Chelsea’s technical and performance adviser, spent two seasons at Rennes between 2002 and 2004, making 70 Ligue 1 appearances before signing for the English club.