GdS: ‘Vive la France’ – why Milan-Rennes carries a derby feeling

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan face a Ligue 1 opponent tonight in the Europa League, and it almost has a feeling of being a derby given the French influence in the current side.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) talks about the game against Rennes tonight and under the heading ‘Vive la France’ they highlight Mike Maignan, Theo Hernandez, Olivier Giroud’s probable involvement.

The three Frenchmen will start against a French team tonight and the fourth, Yacine Adli, will likely play in the second half. The fifth, Pierre Kalulu, worked alone on the field yesterday and should be back soon.

There is more to it than just country of origin though. Matteo Gabbia faced Rennes twice in the group stages of the competition with Villarreal, beating them in October and December, so that is certainly a positive precedent.

Maignan, on the other hand, cannot help but have thought of 18 September 2015, when he played his first match in Ligue 1 in Rennes: he was at Lille and came on for Enyeama, who had been sent off.

Rennes’ goalkeeper is Steve Mandanda, against whom Giroud scored his first professional goal. It was 2007 and Milan were about to win their most recent Champions League trophy.


Tags AC Milan Milan Rennes
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