UEFA Europa League: Marseille vs Lazio preview


Marseille are looking to record their first victory in UEFA Europa League Group H, but they have a difficult task ahead on Thursday when they host Serie A side Lazio at Velodrome Stadium. The two teams have last met in the semi-finals of the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2005 and Marseille pulled through after a 1-1 draw in Rome and a 3-0 victory in France. Before that, Lazio had recorded two wins out of two over Marseille, 2-0 away and 5-1 at home in the 1999-2000 edition of the UEFA Champions League. Overall, Marseille have won five of their nine home matches against Italian sides in Europe, while Lazio have won three out of nine away from home against French teams.

Marseille have won their last two Ligue 1 matches, 2-0 at home over Caen and 1-0 at Nice last weekend, but they have already lost three of their ten league matches so far this season. Their Europa League campaign isn't going any better, they have started with a 2-1 defeat at home against Eintracht Frankfurt and last time out they only managed to grab a 2-2 draw at Apollon. Rolando and Clinton N'Jie are the only injury concerns for the home side, while Luiz Gustavo and Lucas Ocampos should return to the starting eleven after having missed the last league match through suspension.

Lazio have also won their last two domestic league matches, 1-0 at home against Fiorentina and 2-0 at Parma last weekend, but they have also lost three of their nine Serie A matches so far this season. They have done slightly better than Marseille in the Europa League so far, they kicked things off with a 2-1 victory at home over Apollon but then got hammered 4-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt. Lazio could almost guarantee qualification if they win this match as Marseille would drop five poins behind. Dusan Basta and Joaquin Correa got sent off against Eintracht Frankfurt and will both be suspended for Thursday's game, while Riza Durmisi is injured.

Probable line-ups:

Marseille: Pele - Sakai, Kamara, Caleta-Car, Amavi - Gustavo, Strootman - Thauvin, Payet, Ocampos - Mitroglou

Lazio: Proto - Felipe, Acerbi, Wallace - Patric, Parolo, Badelj, Milinkovic-Savic, Lukaku - Caicedo, Alberto

My prediction: 1-1 draw, both teams will be afraid of losing this match.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Marseille win - 2.10
Draw - 3.75
Lazio win - 3.60

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