Michael Owen reveals his prediction for Rennes v Arsenal
Michael Owen has a warning for Arsenal ahead of their trip to Rennes in the Europa League
Michael Owen has warned that Arsenal are facing a tough test when they travel to Rennes in the Europa League last 16 on Thursday evening.
The north London side are preparing for the first leg of their Europa League tie after having warmed up for the game with a 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday.
Arsenal are looking to go as far as possible in the Europa League this season knowing that a place in the top four in the Premier League is far from guaranteed.
However, former Liverpool FC striker Owen believes that Rennes are more likely than the Gunners to claim a positive result on Thursday night.
Writing in his column for BetVictor, Owen said: “Arsenal have never lost an away game in European competition against French opposition, but I feel, if there is to be a winner in Brittany, it will be Rennes who take a narrow lead back to the Emirates.
“Arsenal are in the last 16 of a European competition for the 16th successive season whilst this is the most successful European run in the history of Rennes who lost their first three group games but still managed to qualify for the knockout stages.
“Rennes caused, arguably, the shock of the round in beating Real Betis in the last 32 of the competition winning 3-1 in Seville after a 3-3 draw in Brittany.
“They will feel they have little to lose against the Gunners and I feel they will give the North London outfit a stern examination.”
Arsenal are one of four clubs participating in the Europa League round of 16 for the second successive season, alongside Dynamo Kiev, Zenit and fellow 2017-18 semi-finalists Salzburg.
The Gunners are currently fifth in the table and they will return to Premier League action on Sunday with a crunch showdown against Manchester United at The Emirates as they look to leapfrog Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s men into fourth place in the table.
Arsenal finished in sixth place and without a trophy last season under Arsene Wenger.