TRAFTON KENNEY - Friday, March 5, 2010
Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes host a stuttering Monaco team at the Stade de la Route-de-Lorient in a mid-standings match-up this Saturday.
Bocanegra is coming off a solid performance midweek, captaining the United States against the Netherlands and capping off a solid defensive display with an 88th minute header that nearly sparked a late comeback for the Americans.
The Alta Loma, California native is hoping to cement his spot at left-back against seventh-placed Monaco, who have lost three of their last five games.
Rennes are still smarting from a comprehensive 3-1 defeat at high-flying Montpellier last weekend – a match marred by two late red cards to defender Abdou Kader Mangane and forward Asamoah Gyan. After a ruling by the League's Disciplinary Commission, Mangane will miss the game against Monaco.
Without his defensive stalwart, Antonetti will have to shuffle his backline. His focus will be on shutting down ever-dangerous Brazilian forward Nene, second in the league with 13 goals.
The selection headache for Coach Frederic Antonetti does not end there. With dynamic midfielder Yann M'Vila also unavailable with an injured tibia, expect Fabien Lemoine to assume responsibilities in the middle.
Les Rouges et Noirs will need to rely on the likes of Sylvain Marveaux and Gyan to recapture the goal-scoring form that propelled the team to big wins over Bordeaux and Grenoble just weeks ago. Monaco, who have conceded 10 goals in the past five games, will need to tighten things up at the back
The principality team is missing Nigerian midfielder Lukman Haruma, who accumulated his third yellow card in Monaco's 3-0 loss to Lens last weekend. Juan Pablo Pino is also out injured. Monaco Coach Guy Lacombe does expect South-Korean midfielder Chu-Young Park to feature in the match after returning from injury and training Thursday.