Leicester City make the trip to Rennes for the second leg of their Europa Conference League last-16 tie holding a 2-0 advantage from last week’s fixture in the East Midlands.
At a time when the Foxes only sit in 12th position in the Premier League table, a four-match winning streak has moved Rennes into fourth place in Ligue 1.
Having relegated several key players to the substitutes’ bench for Sunday’s game at Arsenal, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is seemingly taking the Europa Conference League far more seriously than he planned to at the end of last year.
Despite the disappointment of going down 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium, ending a four-game winning streak in the process, the decision will be justified if the Foxes can progress through to the quarter-finals of this competition.
A first-half Marc Albrighton strike and a last-minute goal from Kelechi Iheanacho made the difference at the King Power Stadium last Thursday, putting Leicester firmly in control of this tie.
Rodgers will certainly not take anything for granted given their inconsistencies away from home, but they will be the favourites to win this competition if they can come through against a team of Rennes’ calibre.
Five different players have gotten on the scoresheet in their last four outings, a necessary contribution with Jamie Vardy out injured and Patson Daka having lost his way in front of goal.
From Rennes’ perspective, this competition is probably far less of a priority given that they are attempting to qualify for the Champions League through Ligue 1.
Nevertheless, like Leicester, they will recognise that this is an opportunity to win continental silverware, and they will throw everything at trying to earn a spot in the last eight.
Although there was frustration with the result in England, Rennes have been sensational on the domestic scene, scoring 14 goals in their most recent four matches in France’s top flight.
Bruno Genesio witnessed his side blitz Lyon at the weekend, the visitors scoring each of their four strikes within 49 minutes.
Midfielder Benjamin Bourigeaud netted for the third successive league game, taking his tally for goal and assists to 13 in Ligue 1.
Rennes Europa Conference League form:
Rennes form (all competitions):
Leicester City Europa Conference League form:
Leicester City form (all competitions):
We say: Rennes 2-1 Leicester City (Leicester City to win 3-2 on aggregate)
While Leicester should be well rested for this fixture, that does not automatically mean that they will progress without a fight from their opponents. Nevertheless, we cannot see the Foxes failing to score in this contest, that strike potentially proving decisive when it comes to reaching the last eight.