Friday, March 1, 2024

Prediction: Brighton vs Marseille

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

Looking to leapfrog Marseille at the final hurdle and wrap up top spot in Group B, Brighton will welcome Les Phoceens to the Amex on Thursday night.

Brighton

Starting with the hosts, while Brighton might have mounted a late comeback at home against Burnley over the weekend as they eventually snatched a 1-1 draw, the Seagulls are still trying to find some recent stability. Opening December with an action-packed 3-2 loss at the hands of Chelsea, Roberto De Zerbi’s men have won just five of their previous 15 straight appearances across all competitions. With that extended inconsistent spell stemming all the way back to a 3-1 victory against Bournemouth on September 24th, the one-time Sassuolo boss also has a continued headache over his side’s defensive issues. With just a single clean sheet to their name since the start of November, Brighton’s leaky defence could face another stern challenge here. Despite knowing that they can leapfrog Marseille and officially punch their ticket as Group B winners on Thursday night, De Zerbi’s men have yet to record back-to-back victories at the Amex since opening up the 2023/24 campaign.

Team News

Not expected to feature again over the next few months, Brighton will once again be unable to call upon Barcelona loanee Ansu Fati on Thursday night. Likewise, not making a single appearance since returning from November’s international break, Ecuador defender Pervis Estupinan remains on the sidelines and will not feature here.

Bagging five goals in as many appearances across all competitions, former Watford star Joao Pedro will once again have a leading role to play here. Settling for a spot on the bench against Burnley over the weekend, Kaoru Mitoma will be handed a full return at the Amex.

Marseille

As for the visitors, while Marseille might have opened up the new campaign in the midst of a public struggle, the French giants have come roaring back in a stellar fashion. Picking up some perfect momentum over the weekend as they claimed a thrilling 4-2 victory away at Lorient, it appears that the mood in Gennaro Gattuso’s camp is at red-hot high. Knowing that a single point will be enough to officially punch their Europa League quarter-final ticket, Les Phoceens have now won all of their previous four appearances across all competitions. Last seen in European action stormed their way to an action-packed 4-3 win against Dutch giants Ajax, the former AC Milan boss has seen his squad gain a reputation for their free-scoring performances in the final third. Notching 13 strikes on their recent four-match winning run, some in Gattuso’s camp could be smelling the chance to spring an upset at the Amex on Thursday night.

Team News

While ex-Sheffield United star Iliman Ndiaye might be currently serving a domestic suspension, the 23-year-old is free to feature at the Amex. However, dealing with a recent ankle injury and missing each of Marseille’s last three appearances, Gattuso’s side are once again sweating over the fitness of Joaquin Correa here.

Once again bagging a brace away at Lorient over the weekend and enjoying a remarkable free-scoring romp, former Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will spearhead Marseille’s charge on Thursday night.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When Brighton and Marseille met for their reverse Group B showdown on October 5th, Thursday’s opponents played out a thrilling 2-2 stalemate.
    • The Seagulls have managed to muster just five wins from any of their previous 15 appearances across all competitions.
    • Likewise, Brighton have recorded just a single clean sheet since the start of November.
    • Marseille have won each of their previous four appearances across all fronts by an aggregate score of 13-5.
    • Former Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has bagged seven goals in just his last four outings.

    Conclusion

    With top spot in Group B hanging in the the balance on Thursday night, neutrals could be treated to another Europa League thriller from the Amex. With Brighton and Marseille playing out an action-packed 2-2 stalemate when they met for their reverse showdown on October 5th, chances could come thick and fast here. Likewise, with the Seagulls seeing five of their previous six appearances across all competitions finish with both teams getting on the scoresheet, we are expecting a similar outcome on the south coast.

    Verdict: Both teams to score

    Best Odds: 4/7

    Bookmaker: Olympusbet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
    Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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