Preview - Marseille vs Atletico Madrid 17 May 2018

Started by Harry85, May 15, 2018, 02:41 AM

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Harry85

Europa League Final
Marseille vs. Atletico Madrid
Thursday, May 17th, 2018
03:45 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Stade de Lyon

Marseille: 
Last five matches form: W D L W D
EL Average goals per match: 1.43
EL Average goals against per match: 0.86
EL Top Scorer: Lucas Ocampos (4)

Atletico Madrid:
Last five matches form:  D W W L W
EL Average goals per match: 2.13
EL Average goals against per match: 0.5
EL Top Scorer: Antoine Griezmann (4)

It all comes down to this. The final of the Europa League takes place this week as Marseille welcome Atletico Madrid onto French soil in what looks set to be a cracking contest.

The two sides have taken markedly different routes to the final. For Marseille the process began in the qualifying rounds back in July 2017, whilst Atletico didn't join the competition until February of this year having been eliminated from the Champions League.

That fact would suggest that Atletico would boast a class advantage here having begun the campaign in Europe's premier competition. As would the fact that the Spanish side have already qualified for next season's Champions League, whereas Marseille need help on the final day in Ligue 1 if they are to make it.

As we well know though, anything can happen in a one off game, and Marseille certainly possess the players to pose a serious threat to Diego Simeone's men.

Both teams should be close to full strength for the final, with no one definitely ruled out for either side. Rolando and Kostas Mitroglou are the only slight doubts for Marseille, whilst Madrid await news on José Giménez and Vitolo.

This could be tight, particularly should Florian Thauvin and Dmitri Payet bring their A-Game for Marseille.

There's an old saying in sport though that attack wins games, but defence wins titles and we see the difference in quality between the sides at the back being the deciding factor here.

Atletico to win.



Prediction: Marseille 1 - 2 Atletico Madrid

Harry85

Half time: 0 - 1
Full time: 0 - 3
Shots: 12 - 12
Shots on target: 2 - 4
Corner Kicks: 1 - 6
Possession: 57% - 43%

Five made their way into referee Bjoern Kuipers notebook in Lyon. Jordan Amavi, Luiz Gustavo and Clinton Njie seeing yellow for Marseille; Sime Vrsaljko and Lucas Hernandez doing likewise for Atletico Madrid.

As Arsenal discovered in their semi-final, and Marseille did here, attempting to find a way through this Atletico defence can be a bit like banging your head against a particularly stubborn brick wall.

When playing such a side, the one thing you really need to do is stay solid at the back yourself and not give any silly chances away, especially not to Antoine Griezmann.

Unfortunately for a Marseille side cheered on by a partisan crowd, they failed miserably in this task, handing Atletico the lead with a defensive calamity in the 21st minute.

Steve Mandada playing the ball out to Andre Anguissa just outside the Marseille box. Anguissa producing a first touch which can be kindly described as atrocious to present the ball to Griezmann. Griezmann racing into the box to fire into the bottom corner.

It was a shame that the opener came in such a fashion as Marseille had been the better side early, with Valere Germain guilty of missing a golden opportunity when clean through.

It remained 0-1 at the break, but it always looked like being a long way back for Marseille - particularly once a tearful Dmitri Payet had been forced off through injury - and so it proved.

The second came in the 49th minute. Koke shredding the Marseille defence with a through ball to play in Griezmann on the right hand side of the area. As Mandanda raced out to meet him, the Frenchman produced an excellent dinked finish over the keeper and in.

Much as they tried, there was simply no way through for Marseille and in the 89th minute, Atletico rubbed salt into the wound.

Koke finding Gabi in space in the right-hand side of the area. Gabi having time to pick his spot and fire across goal into the bottom left corner. 0-3 final score.

Atletico Madrid are your Europa League Champions for 2018.


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