The Gunners have won just two of their last 10 matches away from home in all competitions. Indeed, Unai Emery's men were beaten in Borisov in the previous round of this competition.
Rennes, by contrast, are unbeaten in their last 12 matches at Roazhon Park. Julien Stephan's side, then, will be confident of taking a lead into next week's return leg in north London.
Nevertheless, it is Arsenal who are bet365's favourites to seize the initiative in the tie. The odds compilers offer even money (2.0) that Emery's men claim victory on French soil.
Ludovic Baal, Abdoulaye Diallo, James Lea Siliki and Jordan Siebatcheu are all doubtful for the hosts. Rafik Guitane and Romain Danze are long-term absentees.
Arsenal hope to have Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sead Kolasinac available. Rob Holding, Danny Welbeck and Hector Bellerin remain sideline whilst Alexandre Lacazette serves the second of a three-match ban.
Arsenal have scored in nine of their last 10 matches and Rennes have failed to find the net in just one of their last 14 home matches in all competitions.
Keeping things tight
There have, however, been goals at both ends in just one of Arsenal's last 10 away matches in this competition. Indeed, Emery's men have conceded just once in four away ties in the Europa League this season.
It is worth noting, too, that Arsenal have lost just one of their last 11 home ties in this competition. The Gunners may feel that another solid showing could offer them a platform on which to build in the return leg.
Odds correct at time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.