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Match Preview: Strasbourg seeks to build on home win, while Rennes chases european berth

Strasbourg took a significant step forward in their quest for Ligue 1 survival this season by defeating relegation-threatened rivals Nantes 3-1 just before the March international break. This match not only saw the hosts score at least three goals for the first time in the league this year, but it also ended an eight-match winless run in the league (3D, 5L) that had put pressure on manager Patrick Vieira’s position.

The aim is now to claim back-to-back league wins for the second time this season and end a four-game home losing streak. With just two home wins in 13 matches, the lowest in the competition, Strasbourg will have their work cut out for them if they fail to address their recent defensive woes.

In contrast to their hosts, Rennes arrive in eastern France in fine form, having lost just one of their last 11 league outings (7W, 3D). A 2-0 victory over Marseille two weeks ago ended a mini three-match winless run (2D, 1L) and they will be looking to take all three points again to close the gap on the European places.

Starting the day three points behind Lens, who currently occupy the last guaranteed qualifying spot, no team in Ligue 1 has taken more points since January (20) than Julien Stéphan’s in-form side. A six-match unbeaten run away from home (3W, 3D) has contributed to this and Lens will be looking to equal their longest such run since one of seven between February and May 2018.

Players to watch: Strasbourg’s Kévin Gameiro scored his third league goal of the season on the last matchday, and he has provided two assists in his last three matches. Martin Terrier has also been on target in his last club outing. He has scored two goals in his last three head-to-head league encounters.

Hot stat: Both teams have found the net in 17 of the 26 Ligue 1 matches involving Strasbourg and Rennes this year, the highest tally of any two teams.

Key Points:

Strasbourg are looking to build on their home win over Nantes and end a four-game home losing streak.

Rennes are in fine form and will be looking to close the gap on the European places.

Both teams have a history of scoring goals against each other.

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