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Expect A Low Scoring Europa League Final As Atletico Madrid Take On Marseille

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The culmination of this year’s Europa League takes place in Lyon at the Groupama Stadium between Olympique de Marseille and Atletico Madrid, with Atletico having been clear favourites to win the tournament since dropping down from the Champions League after the group stages.

Los Rojiblancos recent past pedigree in the competition is responsible, having won the Europa League by beating Fulham in 2010 and Athletic Bilbao in 2012. Since 2012 they have also progressed to two finals of the better-regarded Champions League, only to be beaten by fierce cross-town rivals Real Madrid on both occasions. A hat-trick of successes in the competition is at 2/5 with BoyleSports. Their main threat is generally considered to be Antoine Griezmann; the talented, and reportedly want-away, French forward. He is favourite to open the scoring at 10/3 with bet365. In a score/ win double he’s at 11/8 (BoyleSports).

Wednesday 16th May – 7.45pm Odds Won/Lost Bet
Atletico Madrid v Marseille      

Under 2.5 goals
   Best Bet
@ 4 / 6  

If Atletico do go ahead, it will be hard to see Marseille getting back into the tie. Remarkably, Los Rojiblancos have scored just 56 goals in 37 league games and for the third successive season, they have maintained the best defensive record in La Liga. Under 2.5 goals within the game is 4/6 with Betfred.

The fact that Atletico are such overwhelming favourites makes it more interesting to give credit to Marseille’s excellent run in the tournament and suggest the outcome to the French side backed by a lot more interesting, and favourable, odds.

Important to bear in mind, Atletico were incredibly fortunate to get a result at the Emirates, the goal helping taking them through to the final. Preceding that, they lost away to Sporting CP in the second leg of their Quarter-Final tie. They also mounted a lacklustre Champions League campaign, which saw them finish just ahead of Azerbaijani side Qarabag.

Marseille’s league form has suffered of late but attention diverted to their first success in Europe since 1993 has seen them Les Phoceens drop out of the top four. With one game to go and stiff competition from Monaco and Lyon in Ligue 1, it’s looking increasingly likely that lifting the trophy on Wednesday will be the only route to the more prestigious European tournament next year. They are supported best with PaddyPower at 5/2.

The final has only gone into extra-time once in the past seven years, when Sevilla also took Benfica to penalties before the Spanish side ran out winners. The obvious favourite result is to back Atletico Madrid to win at 1-0 in 90minutes, best at 5s with betfair. They have kept four clean sheets within the tournament and to win to nil is at 6/4 (betfred).

Marseille produced one of the best games of the season in either of the European competitions, against RB Leipzig in the Quarter-Finals, and their attack can command a certain amount of respect. For Marseille, Florian Thauvin has been exceptional all season but has left a relatively shallow mark on the European stage. For the Frenchman to rectify this, he is at 13/5 as an anytime goalscorer (bet365). He has 22 goals and 10 assists this season. Lucas Ocampos is in fact their highest scorer in the competition, with four. He is backed further out to get on the scoresheet at 11/2 (bet365).

Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda should have been a welcome return from injury with two successive starts, but did little to convince with a straight sending off in the draw against Guingamp. Although he won’t be suspended for the final, it might pose a dilemma for manager Rudi Garcia whether the opts to stick with Mandanda.

Dmitri Payet is touch-and-go to make the final, after a muscle injury which saw him miss the 3-3 against Guingamp. His absence with will be a considerable loss to Marseille, following his resurgence in the latter half of the season. Therefore, suggesting him to come off the bench and as last goalscorer- whether it be winner or consolatory- is at 16/1 with betfair.

It’s highly probable that this will be a tight game, particularly in contrast to the more gung-ho teams competing in the Champions League Final. A Half-Time draw, with Atletico Madrid as Full-Time winners if best at 7/2 with betfair.

Posted: Tuesday, 15th May 2018

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