Rennes vs Nimes called off as Ligue 1 give club extra time to prepare for Arsenal in Europa League
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 26/02/19 10:33am
Rennes will have an eight-day break before their Europa League last-16 first-leg clash with Arsenal after a domestic fixture was moved.
The Ligue 1 club were due to travel to face Nimes on Saturday, five days before they welcome the Gunners to Roazhon Park, but that game has now been postponed by the league.
Rennes face Orleans in the last 16 of the Coupe de France on Wednesday but will then be refreshed by more than a week without a game to prepare for Unai Emery's side.
In contrast, Arsenal face two vital Premier League games before travelling to France, taking on Bournemouth at home on Wednesday and then going head to head with Tottenham in a north London derby on Saturday.
The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) said in a statement: "To allow Stade Rennais to prepare in the best possible way for the two-leg, last 16 Europa League tie with Arsenal, the LFP have accepted the club's request to reschedule the Nimes - Rennes match."
LFP did not initially confirm whether their game against Caen, scheduled to take place in between the two Europa League matches on March 10, would also be postponed - that is on the same day Arsenal face Manchester United.
The Europa League last-16 draw proved troublesome with Arsenal being told they would play their first leg in France an hour after having been drawn at home.
Both the Gunners and Chelsea, for the second successive round, were drawn to play at home in the same time slot, which is not permitted under UEFA's city clash regulations.
Some Arsenal supporters complained they had already booked hotels and transport to France for the March 14 date, which is now the scheduled date for their home leg.
Arsenal also had to move their clash with BATE Borisov to an earlier kick-off because Chelsea were playing Malmo on the same day after initially being told they would have to play the day before at 5pm.