Marseille v Atletico Madrid, Preview, Stats and Betting Tips, Wednesday 16th 2018, Stade de Lyon, Kick off: 19:45

Marseille and Atletico Madrid have their fair share of European pedigree. Marseille were crowned European champions in 1993 and have twice made it to the final of UEFA’s secondary competition losing in both 1994 and 2004.

Atletico have never won the European Cup/Champions League but they are two time Europa League champions having won both of their previous appearances in the final. Atletico are the bookies’ favourites to extend their perfect record in the Europa League final but such is the quality available to Marseille manager, Rudi Garcia, that a win for the Ligue 1 side would be far from a shock.

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Marseille v Atletico Madrid Head to Head Record

  • Marseille 0-0 Atletico Madrid – 9 December 2008, Champions League
  • Atletico Madrid 2-1 Marseille – 1 October 2008, Champions League

Marseille v Atletico Madrid Preview

Marseille and Atletico Madrid have taken very different routes to the Europa League final. While Atletico dropped into the competition in the New Year after finishing third in their Champions League group, Marseille’s Europa League campaign began way back in July when they were entered into the third round of qualifying.

Marseille’s campaign began with an entertaining 4-2 win over Oostende and although they’ve secured safe passage through to the final it’s been far from plain sailing. In all, Garcia’s men have lost four matches in the competition including last time out against Salzburg. The Austrian side matched Marseille’s 2-0 win in the home leg forcing the game into extra time before Rolando settled things with penalties looming large.

Garcia wants much less drama in the final but he may well find himself needing to throw the kitchen sink at Atletico Madrid in the closing stages. This is not the European final that Atletico wanted to be contesting at the start of the season (they’re second in UEFA’s official European club rankings) but Diego Simeone has made sure his players have remained completely focused on the task at hand. That’s largely meant making themselves as difficult to beat as possible but as Arsenal found out, Atletico are much more than just a well drilled defence.

The speed with which Atletico turned defence into a devastating attack in both legs against the Gunners and the tenacity with which they approached their defensive work showed just what Simeone’s side are all about. They have talent all over the pitch, are an incredibly tight unit and that combines to make them one of Europe’s toughest teams to beat. Marseille will need the best of attacking players like Dimitri Payet, Lucas Ocampos and top scorer, Florian Thauvin just to lay a glove on Atletico.

Relevant Stats, Injuries and Suspensions

There is no doubt that Atletico Madrid are the most fearsome defensive unit to take part in the Europa League this season. Atleti average just half a goal conceded in their eight Europa League matches and have kept 22 clean sheets in their Liga campaign. Marseille have an impressive defensive record of their own with 0.79 goals conceded on average in the Europa League and shut out their opponents on six occasions in Europe.

Atletico have a significantly better record than Marseille in terms of goals scored in Europa League. Simeone’s men have scored just three fewer goals than their opponents in the final despite playing six fewer matches and it’s that combination of defensive solidity and attacking prowess that has made them favourites with the bookies.

Marseille are sweating on the fitness of Konstantinos Mitroglou and their semi final hero, Rolando, with both doing all they can to make it back in time for the Europa League final. Full backs Bouna Sarr and Hiroki Sakai could also be missing in Lyon. The domestic suspension handed to Adil Rami for his part in a fracas in a Ligue 1 game may compromise his match fitness which Atletico could well try to target.

Filipe Luis is Atletico’s only injured player. Simeone believes the full back’s broken leg could keep him out of the World Cup and there is no chance of him playing in the final. There’s better news for Juanfran though who should recover in time to play if required.

Marseille v Atletico Madrid Tips

The Europa League final is one of the showpiece events of the European football season but this looks set to be more of a tense, tactical battle than an end to end display of attacking football. Both teams will be concerned about the attacking power of their opponents and will be intent not to give anything away in the early stages. That could make a bet on the 0-0 half time score worth a play at 29/20 with Coral.

When all is said and done though, the quality of Atletico Madrid is expected to shine through and they do look a good bet to win the match at 8/11 with Betfair. The Atletico 1-0 correct score is tempting at 19/4 with Ladbrokes as is the 9/2 that BetVictor are quoting on Antoine Griezmann scoring first on his return to France.