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Ucl: Embattled Sevilla take on Rennes in Group E cracker

Sevilla and Rennes meet in the Champions League having started their Group E campaign with a draw.

While the Spanish giants played out a stalemate with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Rennes also had to settle for a point against Russian side FC Krasnodar.

Having defeated an array of top teams to win the Europa League, Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui would have had high hopes of a fast start to the new campaign.

However, ‎Los Nervionenses find themselves off the pace in La Liga, claiming just seven points from their opening five matches to sit in 13th position.

Sevilla’s latest setback came on Sunday as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Eibar, leaving them seven points adrift of leaders Real Sociedad.

With their winless streak having now been extended to four matches, Lopetegui will be desperate to get back on track in the Champions league after a hard-earned point in West London.

In what could develop into a tight group, the stalemate may prove crucial after matchday six, providing that they can take advantage of their fixtures at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

Rennes have also endured a difficult time of late, recording just two points from their most recent three encounters in Ligue 1.

read also:Chelsea boss Lampard tips Sevilla to win UCL this season

The weekend’s loss at home to Angers represented their first setback of the campaign, ending a run of seven games without defeat in France’s top flight.

However, the result came after their failure to get the better of the two lowest-ranked clubs in the division and missing out against Krasnodar a week ago.

Julien Stephan will hope that being regarded as underdogs can only aid his players as they bid to get more points on the board ahead of the double-header with Chelsea.

Sevilla are still without defender Jules Kounde, who is waiting to record a negative coronavirus test.

Lopetegui is expected to hand recalls to the likes of Bounou, Suso, Lucas Ocampos and Luuk de Jong after they dropped down to the substitutes’ bench at the weekend.

Barring any late fitness issues, Stephan could name the same Rennes side which started the meeting with Krasnodar last weekend.

M’Baye Niang and Faitout Maouassa remain out of contention for the French team, but Jeremy Doku is pushing for an outing on the flank.

Sevilla possible starting lineup:
Bounou; Navas, Gomez, Carlos, Acuna; Jordan, Fernando, Rakitic; Suso, De Jong, Ocampos

Rennes possible starting lineup:
Salin; Traore, Silva, Aguerd, Dalbert; Bourigeaud, Nzonzi, Camavinga; Castillo, Guirassy, Terrier

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