There is no easy games in Europe once you get to the latter stages, and as I have already discussed, Rennes are certainly not going to be a pushover. In this earlier article I have a form guide that shows that Rennes are unbeaten at home for three whole months so will be for Arsenal extremely confident at the Stade Rennais.
But the French side also have the advantage of playing in Ligue 1 and the French authorities do their utmost to help their teams progress in Europe and Rennes were given the weekend off to prepare for the visit of Arsenal, why we were involved in a very high pressured North London Derby!
But Emery is not unhappy about it (not like Pochettino!) and thinks his team is used to the pressure of regular games. “I respect them.” he said. “The Premier League decided the schedules for our matches and our intention is to prepare for the matches with the [time] we can have. But above all, the habit is to play a lot of matches during the weeks. It’s not an excuse.
“If you ask me if I prefer sometimes more time to prepare one match? Maybe yes. But for example in this match, we don’t have an excuse because we’ve had time to prepare well. We have these habits and we have the players to share and find combinations with the players that can play tomorrow, with a big performance, fresh players and with big energy. Then we rest, and on Sunday also we can play with some of the same players that play tomorrow, and some more with fresh energy to give the best performances and get us the best out of the next two matches.”
I think we should be fresh enough for Rennes, although the game is going to be far from easy, but I am sure that Emery will rotate enough so that we have a fresh set of players to face United on Sunday.
Now we just have to win them both!