Caen v Stade Rennes: Preview
Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil is expecting to face a well-organised Caen side with little to lose when the teams square off in Le Mans on Saturday.
The newly-promoted team from Normandy have made an excellent start on their return to Ligue 1, winning two of their opening three games. Their only defeat so far came against Lille in a 'home' fixture also played in Le Mans while the Stade Michel d'Ornano is being used for the World Equestrian Games.
Costil, who came through the youth ranks at Caen, told his old club's official website: ``Given their good start to the season, Caen will not have much to lose.
``Their game plan is super consistent and their coach (Patrice Garande) has established an excellent organisation. And there's my friend, (Caen captain) Julien Feret. It's already established that we will exchange jerseys at the end, but I hope that he will not do us too much harm.''
Rennes have undergone a summer of major changes and have started with a win, a draw and a defeat in their first three games, but are yet to score on their travels.
Costil spoke about the team's hopes for the season, and the need to banish memories of their defeat to Guingamp in the Coupe de France final last campaign.
``Our objective is to pick up points more regularly and avoid a scare like last year (when they only secured their top-flight status with three games to go),'' he added.
``After (ensuring survival), if we can glean something interesting, we're not going to rule that out. But do not forget that we are coming into a new season in transition, with many departures and arrivals within the squad.''
Asked if last season's experiences had scarred the team, Costil added: ``Not necessarily in the league. For the players who remained, it is especially the defeat in the final of the Coupe de France against Guingamp which left an impression on people.
``Since I've been at Rennes I've already had two failures at the final hurdle and elimination in a semi-final, but one of the qualities of top footballers is knowing how to bounce back. Also, the high turnover of the group has also helped to trigger a new dynamic.''
One Rennes new boy, Fallou Diagne, is still waiting to receive clearance to play in Ligue 1 but the visitors can welcome back Kamil Grosicki from the back problem which forced him to miss the trip to St Etienne last Sunday.