Sunday, September 23, 2018

Prediction: Marseille vs RB Leipzig

Verdict: RB Leipzig not to lose

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

The tie is still very much open after Timo Werner’s strike just before half-time handed RB Leipzig a one-goal advantage ahead of the return leg at Stade Velodrome, where Marseille will attempt to finally edge closer to winning the first European trophy since the 1993 Champions League title.

Marseille

Having lifted the Champions League trophy back in 1993, mere two years after losing to Crvena Zvezda in the final, Marseille will forever remain in the European football history books, even though the club have struggled of late to return to old glory days. While they couldn’t reach the final stages of Europe’s elite competition, l’OM finished as Europa League runners up in 1999 and 2004, and they now again hope to mount a serious title challenge.

At the same time, Marseille are locked in the battle with Lyon for the final Champions League berth in Ligue 1, with the two sides sitting level on 63 points with just 6 games to go. Rudi Garcia’s side recently saw their five-point advantage over les Gones melt as they suffered setbacks against Lyon and Montpellier, meaning they desperately need a morale-boosting win to return to the right track. It is no time to focus on the Europa League clash against RB Leipzig, where the hosts will have to produce a very good performance if they want to remain in the competition.

Team News

Rudi Garcia has no fresh injury worries, but Adil Rami, Steve Mandanda and Rolando continue to miss out. Florian Thauvin should return. 

RB Leipzig

Backed by the heavy investment from the club owners, Red Bull Leipzig are on the road to become one of top German clubs, and they wasted no time and making their presence felt on both domestic and European stage. The newly-rich side took part in their first ever Champions League campaign this season, picking up 7 points from the group stage, but they eventually had to continue in Europa League after finishing behind Besiktas and FC Porto.

RB Leipzig have since surprised everyone by eliminating Napoli and Zenit, before recording a 1-0 triumph over Marseille in the first leg of their quarter-final tie. Just like their next opponents, the German outfit have been involved in an incredibly interesting top 4 chase in Bundesliga, but the 4-1 home loss to Bayer Leverkusen saw them slip to 6th in the overall standings. Before they focus on the battle for Champions League places, RB Leipzig will attempt to secure their place in the Europa League semis, and they are in a good position to do that.

Team News

Back-up keeper Philipp Kohn is set to miss between four and six weeks of action, while Konrad Laimer is also sidelined.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Marseille won six of seven home games in this year’s Europa League
  • They conceded just two goals in last six of those games
  • L’OM only failed to beat Leipzig’s feeder club Salzburg
  • Leipzig unbeaten in Europa League on the road (W1 D1)
  • Both teams scored in both of those fixtures

Conclusion

Marseille have struggled for form of late and with their key forward Florian Thauvin not fully fit, we don’t think they can defeat very good RB Leipzig side. The Germans have an excellent result from the first leg and we expect them to make it to the semi-finals.

Verdict: RB Leipzig not to lose

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

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