UEFA Europa League: Marseille vs RB Leipzig preview


One of the most interesting clashes of the Europa League evening on Thursday will take place at the Velodrome Stadium in Marseille where the local side will take on Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig in the second leg of their quarter-finals tie. The Germans won the first leg 1-0 a week ago, Timo Werner scored the only goal of the match on the stroke of half-time. Marseille have much more experience in Europe than Leipzig, but the German side are dreaming of lifting their first European trophy just nine years after having founded the club.

Marseille are not having the best of seasons, they can't compete for the Ligue 1 title in France, but the Europa League is a valid and realistic target for them. In the previous round they did very well to knock out Spanish side Athletic Bilbao with a 5-2 score on aggregate and they are hoping to extend their good home record on Thursday evening. In fact, they have not lost any of their home matches in the Europa League this season and have kept three clean sheets in five games. Steve Mandanda and Adil Rami are expected to miss out because of injuries, while Florian Thauvin and Rolando have a chance of recovering.

RB Leipzig had been on a seven-game unbeaten streak in all competitions before Monday, when they got thumped 4-1 at home by Bayer Leverkusen. That result dropped them to sixth place in the Bundesliga table, two points behind fourth-placed Leverkusen, so the race for that final Champions League qualification spot will be red-hot until the end of the season. Stefan Ilsanker and Marcel Halstenberg are injured and are expected to miss out, while Naby Keita picked up a heavy knock during Monday's match and might be sidelined as well.

Probable line-ups:

Marseille: Pele - Sakai, Gustavo, Kamara - Sarr, Anguisa, Sanson, Amavi - Ocampos, Payet - Germain

Leipzig: Gulacsi - Laimer, Orban, Upamecano, Klostermann - Forsberg, Demme, Kampl, Bruma - Werner, Poulsen

My prediction: 1-1 draw.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Marseille win - 2.29
Draw - 3.70
Leipzig win - 3.10

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