GdS: Milan must not underestimate Europa League veterans Rennes

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan will take on Rennes at San Siro tomorrow night, and there is a rather striking figure regarding the experience in the Europa League that both sides have.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that when adding up the appearances of players included in the UEFA squad list, Rennes have 230 in the Europa League compared to 210 for Milan which is perhaps surprising.

From another angle, however, there is a certain logic: in recent years Milan have mainly frequented the Champions League, a tournament in which Rennes has only taken part once in its history (2020-21 season, eliminated in the group stage with one point in six games).

Rennes are unbeaten in nine games across all competitions (the last eight of which are victories), but the other thing for Milan to keep an eye on is that they are not exactly new to this competition.

The doyen is Olivier Giroud’s friend Steve Mandanda, who has 56 UEL appearances, followed by midfielder Bourigeaud with 27. No one in Milan reaches Mandanda’s number: the most appearances in the competition for the Rossoneri is Simon Kjaer (in doubt for the match) with 40.

He is followed by Giroud with 22, but then if we broaden our horizons to all European competitions, there is an abyss between the two squads: 671 appearances for Milan, 370 for Rennes. Just over half.

The Champions League clearly makes the difference, even if the Europa League teaches that it must be handled with a grain of salt: a very treacherous competition, decidedly different from its older sister.

There is a not exactly insignificant detail that further shifts the balance towards the Italian side: Giroud, Loftus-Cheek and Chukwueze have all lifted the trophy before, with Chelsea and Villarreal respectively.


Tags AC Milan Milan Rennes

1 Comment

  1. I’m not worried about Rennes. Their good form is against terrible clubs. We should dominate this. BUT. We should also not play down to our opposition as we sometimes tend to. I think we definitely go through here.

    It will be important to secure a commanding win at home though, to leave little to do away to Rennes.


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