Panathinaikos host Rennes at the Athens Olympic Stadium this Thursday in Matchday three of the Europa League. The group is currently tight, with each team with at least a point on the board, but a win in this fixture may put the victor in control.
Panathinaikos currently sit top of Group F after two games. With one win and one draw, The Greek side have four points to their name, one more than both Villarreal and Rennes.
In their last five games in all competitions, Panathinaikos have two wins and three draws. Asteras Tripolis opened the scoring through Nikos Kaltsas in the seventh minute against Panathinaikos. But a brace from Fotis Iannidis and goals from Willian Arao and Benjamin Verbic gave Panathinaikos the 4 - 1 win. Panathinaikos once again went behind, this time against PAOK with Brandon scoring in the 19th minute. Sebastian Palacios equalised before halftime, but in the 58th minute PAOK took the lead again through Andrija Zivkovic. Alexander Jeremejeff popped up with a goal in the 96th minute to grab the 2 - 2 draw for Panathinaikos.
Last time out in the Europa League was against Maccabi Haifa. Panathinaikos failed to register a single shot on target in comparison to Maccabi Haifa’s six shots on target in the 0 - 0 draw. Panathinaikos bounced back against Atromitos. With Lucas Acevedo sent off in the first half for Atromitos, Filip Durici, Palacios and Andraz Sporar all scored in the first half to give Panathinaikos the 3 - 0 lead going into halftime. Duricic scored again along with Jeremejeff for the 5 - 0 win, even in spite of Zeca’s red card in the 85th minute.
The last time out for Panathinaikos was a fiery clash with Olympiacos. The game was abandoned after a firecracker was thrown on the pitch, before that though the game was tied at 1 - 1.
Rennes, on the other hand, sit third in Group F. The French side have one win and one loss, leaving them on three points, but outside of the qualification spots based on Villarreal’s better head to head with Rennes.
In their last five games in all competitions, Rennes have one win, one draw and three losses. Rennes failed to find the back of the net in a 0 - 0 draw with Montpelier, despite having 64% of the possession and six shots on target. Benjamin Bourigeaud opened the scoring with a penalty in the sixth minute, but a goal from Pedro Chirivella meant that it was level between Rennes and Nantes going into halftime. However, a goal from Desire Doue and a penalty from Arnaud Kalimuendo gave Rennes the 3 - 1 win over ten-man Nantes, who had Mostafa Mohamed sent off in the second half.
Last time out in the Europa League, Rennes faced Villarreal. Alexander Sorloth scored the only goal of the game in the first half for a 1 - 0 win for Villarreal. Amine Gouiri did manage to score for Rennes against PSG, but goals from Vitinha, Achraf Hakimi and Kolo Muani gave PSG the 3 - 1 win.
The most recent outing for Rennes was against Lorient. An own goal from Warmed Omari in the fourth minute gave Lorient the lead, but a goal from Ludovic Blas levelled the game. But in the added time of the first half Isaak Toure gave Lorient the 2 - 1 lead that they kept for the entire 90 minutes.
This will be the first meeting between Panathinaikos and Rennes. Both sides have a smaller history in European competition football, with Rennes’ furthest exploration in Europe being the Last 16 of the Europa League, whereas back in 1995, Panathinaikos made the Champions League Semi-finals.