Marseille vs Atletico Madrid Preview & Tips: Atleti set for European glory

Atletico set to lift third Europa League crown
Atletico start Europa League final as clear favorites (Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Atletico start Europa League final as clear favorites (Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Marseille vs Atletico Madrid Preview & Tips


Marseille take on Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final at the Groupama Stadium in Lyon. The Spanish club are trying to win their third Europa League crown since 2010, Rudi Garcia's team attempting to become the first French side to win the tournament.

Marseille


Marseille have lost just two of their last 15 matches across all competitions. Les Phoceens are into the final having edged past Red Bull Salzburg courtesy of an extra-time goal from substitute Rolando that ended a closely-fought semi-final. 

The French club beat the likes of Braga, Athletic Bilbao, RB Leipzig and then Salzburg on their way to the final. Marseille currently sit fourth in Ligue 1 and are one point outside the Champions League spots.

Marseille will be without suspended midfielder Bouna Sarr for the final. He is likely to be replaced by Argentine Lucas Ocampos with influential captain Dimitri Payet set to play in his first major European club final.

Atletico Madrid


Diego Simeone’s men dispatched Arsenal 2-1 on aggregate with a typical European display. Atletico stole an away goal in the first leg and then kept a clean sheet on home soil to move into the final.

Simeone’s side will be strongly fancied to finally lift some continental silverware after coming close twice in the Champions League in recent years.

The club travel to Lyon having lost just one European away game outside of Madrid this term. Atletico are currently sitting second in La Liga and require just a single point on the final day to finish above city rivals Real Madrid.

Atletico have defender Sime Vrsaljko back from a European ban. Spanish international Vitolo faces a race to be fit in time after suffering a knee injury a fortnight ago.

Match Up


The only previous two fixtures between the teams came in the 2008-09 Champions League group stages.

Atletico, led by former boss Javier Aguirre, beat Marseille 2-1 in the Spanish capital in the opening fixture before the reverse saw a goalless draw played out in France.

Atletico have only lost one game against a French side. That defeat came against Lens in the fourth round of the 1999-02 UEFA Cup. Marseille have lost eight out of 15 against teams from Spain.

Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann will lead the line for Atletico with Diego Godin marshalling the defence. Marseille will rely heavily on Dimtri Payet for invention.

Key Statistics


  • Marseille have failed to keep a clean sheet in 7 of their last 8 matches (All Competitions). 
  • Marseille has seen Over 2.5 goals in 6 of their last 8 matches (All Competitions).
  • Atletico Madrid have won 7 of their last 9 matches (Europa League).
  • Atletico Madrid have kept a clean sheet in 5 of their last 7 matches (Europa League).

Verdict


Atletico have massive experience in European finals and are likely to be too strong for a largely inexperienced Marseille side.

Their stern defence should shut Marseille down and I expect the Spaniards to win and keep a clean sheet.

Best Bet: Atletico win to nil at 2.60
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Eric Smith 16 May 2018

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