Kamaldeen Sulemana and Rennes will seek to end a miserable winless run of five Ligue 1 Uber Eats games away from home and maintain their midweek momentum when they travel to struggling Bordeaux on Sunday.
Rennes have been slow out of the blocks this season, and have picked up just one point from their three away trips in 2021/22. Overall, they had won just once — and lost their previous three top-flight outings — before spectacularly finding form in midweek.
While their away form has been poor, at Roazhon Park they have been virtually invincible, winning six and losing just one of their last nine. The last of those wins came when they thrashed Clermont Foot 6-0 on Wednesday to win a Ligue 1 match by a six-goal margin for the first time since January 1965.
WATCH: Rennes hit Clermont for six
"There was quite a show. It's good for the fans," said Rennes centre-back Nayef Aguerd, who was trying to keep a lid on the enthusiasm sparked by the team's romp. "When we win, we mustn't get carried away, and when we lose, we mustn't panic either.
"You have to ask yourself the good questions, which is what has been done. We spoke to each other, the players and the staff. It's only the seventh game, but I have confidence in this squad, which has a lot of quality. We needed this spark. I hope that it will kickstart our season. If we lose at Bordeaux, it won't have been much use. We have to go out to fight again and build on this success."
Bruno Génésio's side will have to try and do that without Lovro Majer (hip), Jérémy Doku (thigh) and Jérémy Gélin (ACL) as they take on a Bordeaux side that has only won two of its last 11 home games. One of those was against Rennes, however, as Les Girondins recorded a 1-0 victory late last season.
Petkovic: 'Calculated risks'
The arrival of Vladimir Petkovic as coach has not sparked the six-time champions into life as yet with their tally of six points from their opening seven Ligue 1 games their lowest at this stage of the competition since the 1946/47 and 1972/73 seasons that have all but faded from living memory.
They have, however, taken four points from their last two league matches, registering a first top-flight victory of the campaign at Saint-Etienne last weekend before a thrilling 3-3 draw at Montpellier, scoring late in both games to get a positive result.
Though goals have been easy enough to come by recently, they are yet to record a clean sheet this season, something Petkovic wants to put right.
WATCH: Bordeaux and Montpellier share six-goal thriller
"It's not only a problem of the defence. We have to be more disciplined on the pitch. We have to mark our men tighter, and not only the defence, but the whole team," explained the man who swapped the Switzerland national team for Ligue 1 Uber Eats this summer.
"I don't accept conceding goals because we take risks. Of course I prefer we win 5-0, I prefer to score five goals and not concede any. But of course there are certain risks when you have a certain style of play, when you want to play high up the pitch. There are calculated risks, but we certainly have to improve that."
Petkovic is unlikely to be able to use new signing Mbaye Niang, who joined Bordeaux from Rennes this week, while Jean Onana (adductors), Laurent Koscielny (ankle), Paul Baysse (knee), Issouf Sissokho (shin) and Josh Maja (back) are all sidelined. Honduran forward Alberth Elis, who joined this summer, could feature for the first time.
Bordeaux: Costil; Kwateng, Mexer, Gregersen; Pembélé, Otavio, Fransergio, Mensah; Adli; Hwang, Kalu
Rennes: Gomis; Traoré, Badé, Aguerd, Meling; Bourigeaud, Tait, Santamaria, Sulemana; Laborde, Terrier