The final of the Europa League 2017/2018 between Marseille and Atletico Madrid will take place this Wednesday evening at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon. The distance between Marseille and Lyon is just about 300 kilometers, so L’OM are expected to have a huge support from the stands. But, will it be enough to beat the two-time Europa League champions, Atletico Madrid? Find out in the Marseille vs. Atletico Madrid match preview!
In October 2016, the former owner of LA Dodgers, Frank McCourt became the new owner of Olympique Marseille. The American businessman reportedly paid about 45 million Euros to the Dreyfus, who had owned the club for years. The new owner came with a new philosophy and a plan to win trophies.
As a part of McCourt’s “OM Champions project”, new club management was appointed – the legendary Spanish goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta became the sports director while ex-Roma head coach Rudy Garcia was appointed the manager.
Furthermore, the club brought many big-name players to the club, most notably Dimitri Payet. The French international has returned to his favorite club and has quickly become one of their key men. Steve Mandanda also returned to Marseille after one season in the Premier League. A few other players joined the club since McCourt took over, including Luiz Gustavo, Valere Germain, Morgan Sanson, and Hiroki Sakai.
Still, Marseille’s best player has been in the club since 2013. I am talking, of course, about Florian Thauvin. Although he’s just 25 years of age, Thauvin has been an important player for OM for years. He was one of the key men in the days when Margarita Louis-Dreyfus was the club’s owner, but moved to Newcastle on loan on one occasion.
When he got back, he immediately became a crucial player. This season, the playmaker has made 11 assists in Ligue 1 so far. He’s also currently the second-best scorer in the league, just behind PSG’s Cavani.
Learning all this, you probably no longer think that Marseille are huge underdogs, do you? They definitely have the quality to win this trophy, but on Wednesday evening, Atletico will get their say as well!
Unlike Marseille who lost four games in the Europa League this season, Atleti lost only once. Without trying to undermine their achievement, I got to point out that they’ve been playing in this competition starting with the Round of 16, as they previously played in the Champions League. They were in the group with Roma and Chelsea, so it’s not a big surprise that they ended on the third place.
When it comes to their performances in the domestic league, Atletico are currently at the second place, with three points more than Real Madrid. One round is left in that competition, so there’s still a tiny chance for Los Blancos to overtake the second position. But, that probably doesn’t worry Atletico too much, as they have a very good chance to win a much bigger prize – the Europa League trophy.
The biggest problem Atletico Madrid have is the lack of players. Diego Simeone only has 18 first team players at his disposal. The good news is that each of those players is extremely talented. These players are among the best on the planet, but they might feel a bit tired now that the season has come to its end. Eight players from Atletico Madrid have played more than 30 games so far, so it’s not a big surprise that they don’t seem too enthusiastic lately.
Although they did beat Arsenal two weeks ago, Atletico haven’t been very convincing lately. This team has scored only four goals in the previous seven matches. Surely, their fans shouldn’t be too concerned, as Atleti have some of the best players on the continent playing up front.
I’m talking about Diego Costa, Fernando Torres, Kevin Gameiro, Angel Correa, and of course, Antoine Griezmann. Speaking of Griezmann, this could very well be his last game in Atleti shirt as he’s rumored to have agreed to a deal with Barcelona.
- Adil Rami (suspension)
- Konstantinos Mitroglou (doubtful)
- Rolando (doubtful)
Atletico Madrid absentees:
- Jose Gimenez (doubtful)
- Vitolo (doubtful)
Mandanda – Sertic, Abdennour, Amavi, Sakai – Luiz Gustavo, Sanson, Payet, Thauvin, Ocampos – Germain
Oblak – Godin, Savic, Vrsaljko, Luis – Saul, Gabi, Koke, Partey – Griezmann, Costa
Marseille vs. Atletico Madrid Match Prediction
Bookies think that Atleti are the big favorites here, but I’m sure we’re gonna see a big battle on Wednesday. Marseille definitely seem capable of scoring a few against Atletico, although their defense is without two crucial center backs – Rami and Rolando. That said, it seems this is gonna be a high-scoring match, with lots of goals on both ends.
Marseille vs. Atletico Madrid Betting Tips
- BTS @2.15 (Bwin)
- Over 3.5 Goals @4.35 (Unibet)