CM: Form, talent and 10,000 away fans – why Rennes deserve respect

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan will not just face 11 men on the field tonight but also one of the biggest away supports to come to San Siro for some time when they face Stade Rennais.

According to, between 7,000 and 10,000 supporters are expected to arrive mainly from the north of France to support the team coached by Julian Stephan, who has engineered a real resurgence and now leads a team full of confidence in a showpiece European tie for them.

There was a crisis in December but since then a streak of wins successes in a row in all competitions has followed, thanks to the work of Stephan who abandoned the 3-4-3 from his first outings to rely on a more solid and traditional 4-4-2.

If Milan can breathe a sigh of relief because of the absence of Enzo Le Fée – a highly creative midfielder who in the past was on Napoli’s radar – there is still plenty of talent still to watch out for.

In midfield they have two men that Milan have followed in recent years: Baptiste Santamaria and Benjamin Bourigeaud. The former was looked at when the management were trying to replace Franck Kessie, while the latter plays out wide and has seven goals this season.

Rennes have produced talents like Ousmane Dembelé, Eduardo Camavinga, Kamalden Sulemana, Mathys Tel and Jeremy Doku, but now it is the turn of Franco-Ivorian winger Desiré Doué to steal the spotlight.

He is a player full of flair and speed, who in 2022 entered the history books as he was the first of his age to score in one of the ‘top five’ European league. This evening too he could take the field together with his three-year older brother Guela, a right-back.

Then there is Arnaud Kalimuendo, with his 10 goals in total this season, plus Amine Gouiri and Ludovic Blas who have 13 goals between them. Martin Terrier is tipped to play alongside Kalimuendo, and he has five goals this year.

Backed by excellent form, some very interesting players and possibly 10,000 away fans, it is fair to say that Rennes are relishing the occasion, so much so that they bought an entire page advert in today’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport to send a message.

“Pride, passion and fervor come together this evening at San Siro. Thousands of us will celebrate the love of our colors, red and black. Go Rennes! From the first to the last minute, give everything,” it said. All in Italian, so that the message reaches Milan loud and clear.


Tags AC Milan Milan Rennes

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