Sunday, May 26, 2024

Prediction: Marseille vs Benfica

Verdict: Marseille over 1.75 goals

Best odds: 2.47

Bookmaker: ZetBet

The final episode of the Europa League quarter-final between Marseille and Benfica will be played out Thursday evening at the Velodrome Stadium, where the hosts will look to bounce back from last week’s narrow defeat in Lisbon. We anticipate an exciting match with a volcanic atmosphere provided by OM supporters who are often considered the 12th player at Velodrome.

Marseille

Marseille can save the season if they defeat Benfica and advance to the competition’s final, even though their entire campaign has so far been dominated by instability both on and off the pitch. After suffering an early knock-out from the French Cup and with small chances of placing in the top 6 at the end of Ligue 1, winning the Europa League looks to be the only path to playing European football in the following season.

However, the disastrous results of late have brought a sense of déjà vu, with poor football and a lack of accuracy in front of goal proving fatal in the last five competitive matches. This is despite Jean-Louis Gasset’s flawless debut, which turned around the floundering team and got it back into contention in the top-six race.

After losing 3-1 to Villareal in the last 16 rematch, Marseille started to falter and lost four straight games, domestically and in Europe. OM supporters were extremely disappointed in Le Classique after witnessing their team’s underdog status at home against PSG who dominated the match despite having a player sent off (0–2 final score).

In what appears to be the most significant game of the season for the former French champions, Marseille must present a different side in the rematch against Benfica. Furthermore, with his forwards having scored only three goals in their last five games, Jean-Louis Gasset will have a lot of work ahead of him.

Team News

No less than five OM players are out of the lineup for the match against Benfica due to injuries. However, because his team’s Ligue 1 encounter was postponed last weekend, Jean-Paul Gasset has had plenty of time to prepare for the game thoroughly.

Aubameyang is expected to prove his leadership and experience in this crucial match and lead his teammates to the semi-finals. The Gabonese striker is being used to handle this type of pressure following many decisive games played during his magnificent career.

Benfica

Benfica, the favourites to advance to the Europa League semi-finals, will head to the South of France with a slim edge over local team Marseille following a close game in which the Portuguese team edged narrowly the French side in Lisbon. To escape catastrophe in Marseille, though, Roger Schmidt’s team has to play flawlessly and error-free considering OM’s prowess at the Stade Velodrome.

Nevertheless, the visitors are optimistic about completing their task and moving one step closer to the grand final in Dublin thanks to the outstanding recent performances. Benfica, the Portuguese champions, have every right to be confident considering their stellar recent out-put, which includes just one loss in their previous eight competitive games.

Benfica won the league match at home against Moreirense, 3-0, to get back into their rhythm ahead of travelling to Marseille, despite the Eagles fans being left disappointed by their favourites who lost to bitter rivals Sporting at the beginning of April, ending therefore their title defending race.

Team News

Roger Schmidt should be buzzing to have all his players available to travel to Marseille. The experienced German coach can line up his best formation, hoping to retain the advantage won in the 1st leg. However, Benfica’s managerial staff should make their players aware of the crazy Velodrome atmosphere, a stadium where many sides crumbled under pressure.

Key factors to consider

  • Marseille is passing through the worst period of the season, losing all of their last five competitive games
  • The hosts’ second-half goal scored in Lisbon kept the tie open, OM being able to ignite a comeback and get the tickets to the semi-finals
  • Velodrome has proven to be a difficult ground for any side this season, the South of France side losing a single game this term (0-2 against PSG)
  • Benfica lost a single game from the last eight played across all competitions
  • The visitors are travelling to France with a lot of confidence following the 1st leg result and the recent domestic success against Moreirense (3-0)

Conclusion

Marseille has a great opportunity to reverse the first leg’s negative outcome in front of their fans, who will produce a well-known crazy atmosphere in the stands. Even though Benfica is a strong team, OM’s attack can explore the recent defensive vulnerabilities displayed by the visitors.

Verdict: Marseille over 1.75 goals

Best odds: 2.47

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stefan Budur


Former owner of Betting Mojo, experienced bettor and former punter at Betadvisor, Stefan has done it all when it comes to soccer betting. With more than 15 years of experience in the gambling industry, he gained a lot of knowledge that he'd like to share with SoccerNews.com readers so you can position yourself better every time you place a bet.

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