Roazhon Park in Brittany will be the site of a critical Ligue 1 fixture between Rennes and Monaco, who are each vying for a place in Europe next season.
Stade Rennais come into this contest on Friday unbeaten in their previous five matches in all competitions, while Les Monegasques have won their last three domestic encounters and are only a single point behind Nice for a place in the Europa Conference League.
Winning the league is probably out of reach, but nonetheless Bruno Genesio and his team are on pace for a record-setting top-flight campaign, with 56 points after 31 fixtures, equalling their highest-ever tally at this stage of the competition in 1998-99.
Throughout 2021-22 they have been incredibly potent in the final third, scoring 67 goals, three fewer than league leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
Their deep attacking side have been extremely clinical on home soil, scoring 20 goals domestically at Roazhon Park in their previous five games played there, while conceding just two.
Rennes have only competed in the Champions League group stage once before (2020-21), and at the moment, they find themselves with a chance to guarantee they make it back to at least that point next season, currently trailing Olympique de Marseille by three points for second place.
Genesio has always been enamoured with attacking football, and the slick collective style of play that he has brought to this side seems to be what they needed to reach the next level.
Les Rouge et Noir have effectively executed a preventative marking style when they hit the field, an approach that focuses on anticipating the loss of a ball to counter the opponent quickly.
Monaco’s Kevin Volland celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on March 20, 2022© Reuters
When Monaco were knocked out of the Europa League last month, it appeared as though that would be the last European match we would see them play until at least the 2023-24 campaign.
Since their exit from that competition however, their fortunes in the league have changed dramatically, with Philippe Clement’s side currently on their longest winning run since he took over, sitting two points behind Strasbourg for a place in the qualifying portion of the Europa League next season.
In what has been a tumultuous campaign in the principality featuring a team that have been hot and cold, Les Monegasques seem to be finding their footing in the nick of time.
While they have done what is needed to pick up three points in each of their previous three encounters, it has not been easy, as they narrowly defeated relegation-threatened sides Metz and Troyes, both times by a 2-1 score.
Their individual class has carried them through numerous matches, and that quality will be put to the test over the next seven days as they face two teams (Rennes and Nice) who stand in their way of a return visit to European competition.
Those upcoming encounters could determine their European fate, and Les Rouges et Blancs will fancy their chances against Stade Rennais, a side that they have defeated 49 times in Ligue 1, more than any other top-flight opponent.