15th of May 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
The final act of this season's UEFA Europa League will take place on Wednesday evening in Lyon, where French side Marseille will take on Spanish outfit Atletico Madrid. The two teams have only met twice before, it happened in 2008 in the Champions League group stage and Atletico Madrid won 2-1 at home before holding out for a goalless draw in France. Marseille have won just four of their fifteen matches against Spanish teams in European competitions, while Atletico Madrid lost just one of their twelve matches against French teams.
Marseille had a very long road in this season's Europa League, they started in the third preliminary round and then barely managed to qualify from Group I, where they finished second behind Salzburg with just four goals scored in six matches. However, they did a lot better in the knockout phase of the competition and eventually defeated Salzburg in the semi-finals. In Ligue 1 they are one point behind third-placed Lyon with one match left before the end of the season, so their participation in next season's Champions League is not secured unless they win the Europa League. Defender Rolando and striker Kostas Mitroglou are injury doubts for the French side.
Atletico Madrid were hoping to play the Champions League final this season, but they will have to settle for the Europa League. They started the season in the Champions League group stage but finished third in their group behind Roma and Chelsea. Diego Simeone's men knocked out Premier League side Arsenal in the semi-finals and have less pressure than Marseille ahead of the final because they have already secured their place in next season's Champions League through their position in LaLiga. Jose Gimenez and Vitolo are injury doubts for the Spanish side.
Marseille: Pele - Sarr, Rami, Gustavo, Amavi - Lopez, Sanson - Thauvin, Payet, Ocampos - Germain
Atletico: Oblak - Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Luis - Correa, Gabi, Niguez, Koke - Costa, Griezmann
My prediction: Atletico Madrid to win 2-0.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Marseille win - 6.00
Draw - 3.79
Atletico win - 1.66
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Should be a close game that one I believe.
Atletico lost some really important finals and semis in the recent years in the CL and maybe now is the time they should have a bit of luck too.
The fact game would be played in France of course giving some slight advantage to Marseille but it shouldn't be the key factor.
One goal win for either side I think and I'm giving that to Atletico with a bit of uncertainty in mind. Could be a regular time draw too.
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