By Eskender Tamrat
When: 3:00PM EST, Saturday, May 20th, 2017
Where: Roazhon Park, Rennes, France
Betting Line: OFF
TV Coverage: beIN Sports
AS Monaco FC (29-5-3) will have to halt the celebration to play one last game this season on Saturday at mid-table side Stade Rennais FC (12-14-11). The Principality club lifted the title on Wednesday following a 2-0 win against record champions AS Saint-Étienne (12-14-11). Rennes picked up narrow wins in their last two games to all but secure a top-half league finish.
Monaco scored ten goals without conceding against Rennes in two matches this season. In his first league start since returning to Monaco, Falcao opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time in the league fixture against Rennes back in September. Thomas Lemar scored two goals after the 90th minute for a faltering 3-0 win for Monaco. A certain young striker by the name of Kylian Mbappé was an unused sub at the time, but he opened the gates in the 7-0 thrashing of Rennes in the Coupe de la Ligue back in December. The dazzling youngster completed his hat-trick at the hour mark before reaching a new level in 2017.
Truth to be told, the last thing Leonardo Jardim's troops want after clinching the title on Wednesday is having to still play one game in the season. Before the title win is confirmed with a win against Saint-Étienne, Monaco booked rapper 50 Cent to perform at their victory party the following Monday, while there are talks that Bruno Mars could make a surprise appearance in there as well. The club is technically not geographically situated in France, but they managed to win more league titles than the capital city club PSG.
This season's success is their first title since the turn of the millennium, however, as they hope to build on the sensational journey for reaching further heights, provided they could keep their star players at the club. The exuberant stars, none more so than Mbappé, will catch the attention but their success is also down to the resurgent of players like Falcao, who was in tears on Wednesday as he reached new heights following two miserable years at Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea.
Christian Gourcuff's side picked up valuable six points in their last two games, which helped them to reach 50 points in the league. Winter signing Ndombe Mubele scored the winner ten minutes from time against Montpellier HSC (10-9-18) at home. It was left for club top scorer Giovanni Sio to seal the win at Stade Malherbe Caen (10-6-21) last week, as he netted the game's only goal – and his ninth of the campaign – in the second-half.
With a positive result from other fixtures on Saturday, Rennes could finish seventh, while they are assured of finishing in the top ten.
1. With his late strike to seal the win against Saint-Étienne, Valère Germain (10) became the third Monaco player to reach double figures in the league this season. Thomas Lemar could join the party if he netted a goal against Rennes, while Monaco's regular penalty-kick taker Fabinho Bernardo Silva are not far with eight goals each.
2. Monaco won each of their last eleven league games, scoring more than two goals in five of them.
3. Rennes' last three games only produced three goals.
Monaco to end the season with twelve successive league wins, although it would be hard to expect a straightforward win from a team who wildly celebrate their league triumph three days ago.
Monaco 2, Rennes 1
|Fabio Henrique Tavares|
|Jorge Marco de Oliveira Moraes|