Mostafa Mohamed, Rennes, Nantes

Rennes-Nantes preview: Mohamed on form ahead of Derby Breton

Rennes-Nantes preview: Mohamed on form ahead of Derby Breton

Publish on 09/28 at 10:17 - S. TELFORD


Mostafa Mohamed and FC Nantes have found form at just the right time for ahead of their Derby Breton meeting with Stade Rennais FC at Roazhon Park on Sunday evening.

Stade Rennais FC - FC Nantes


- Kick-off: 18:45 GMT




That Kylian Mbappé is at the top of the scoring charts on seven goals will be of surprise to approximately no-one, but Mohamed being the Paris Saint-Germain talisman's closest pursuer on five might have been harder to predict.


Signed on loan from Galatasaray last summer, he scored eight goals in 36 Ligue 1 Uber Eats games last term, 18 of them starts - a respectable return, but one he is on course to blaze past having made his move permanent in July.


N'Doram's record equalled


The Egyptian has hit five goals in six games this season, helping pull Nantes up 10th in table, only behind Rennes on due to goals conceded, with back-to-back wins over Clermont Foot 63 and FC Lorient.


There were five different scorers against the latter, but Mohamed's free-kick for 3-2 in the eventual 5-3 win was the pick of the bunch.


Watch: Highlights of Nantes' 5-3 win over Lorient

"I haven't achieved anything yet," he said modestly on X (formerly Twitter) after matching Japhet N'Doram's haul of five goals in the first six games of the 1995/96 season for les Canaris. "I want to score more goals and help the team. My ambition never ends as we aim to finish in a good position in the league this season."

Mohamed will certainly lead the line for Nantes at Roazhon Park on Sunday, with the in-form Moses Simon for company in the final third, with Ignatius Ganago still sidelines by muscular problems. Fabien Centonze's hamstring injury means Ronaël Pierre-Gabriel will continue at right-back.


Rennes dogged opponents


Rennes are undefeated this season, but they have been struggling to turn draws into wins in recent weeks.


Bruno Génésio's side thrashed FC Metz 5-1 on the opening day, but last Sunday's goalless draw at Montpellier Hérault SC was the fifth game on the bounce that they have had to settle for a share of the spoils.


Watch: Highlights of Rennes' goalless draw at Montpellier

Les Rouge et Noir haven't been helped by the extended absence of Martin Terrier, who ruptured his ACL in January, or that of Arnau Kalimuendo, who pulled his hamstring on international duty with France's under-21s three weeks ago.

Génésio is refusing to panic, however.


"We have a quality group with youngsters who can play multiple different positions," he told the club's official website. "As long as their mindset is good it bodes well. We've had good groups in previous seasons but this one matches any before it.


Draws better than defeats…


"[However], last season we lost 12 games, which is too many to make the podium. If you can't win you have to know how not to lose. That may sound like a throwaway comment but at the end of the season these points can matter."


Jérémy Doku left for Manchester City in the summer transfer window but in Ludovic Blas, Désiré Doué and Ibrahim Salah, Génésio has young, talented attacking midfielders in support of Bertug Yildirim, who has been leading the line in Kalimuendo's absence.


Possible teams


Rennes: Mandanda; Assignon, Omari, Theate, Truffert; Bourigeaud, Matic; Blas, Doué, Salah; Yildirim


Nantes: Descamps; Pierre-Gabriel, Comert, Castelletto, Merlin; Mollet, Chirivella, Douglas, Simon; Abline, Mostafa

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