Atletico Madrid is in yet another European final, but Marseille will be on French soil looking to claim its first Europa League title.

By 90Min
May 15, 2018

Atletico Madrid will take on Marseille in the highly anticipated final of the Europa League at the Stade de Lyon on Wednesday. 

Atletico will be looking to win their third Europa League trophy, while their French opposition will be hoping to claim their first. 

Los Rojiblancos booked their place in the final with a 2-1 aggregate win over Arsenal. Diego Simeone's side endured a nightmare start to the tie, however, when Sime Vrsaljko was dismissed after just 10 minutes in the first leg at the Emirates. 

Alexandre Lacazette's 60th-minute header gave the dominant hosts a deserved lead, but Arsenal were made to pay for their earlier wastefulness when Antoine Griezmann capitalized on some poor defending to equalize for the visitors ten minutes from time. 

In the second leg, the hosts took the lead just before halftime through Diego Costa. The Gunners pushed for the elusive equalizer in the second half, but they were unable to break down Atletico's stern defence and prevent them from progressing to the final. 

Marseille booked their ticket to the final with a 3-2 aggregate victory against Austrian champions Salzburg. Les Phocéens ran out comfortable 2-0 victors at the impressive Stade Vélodrome thanks to goals from Florian Thauvin and Clinton Njie.

Things were a little more complex for Rudi García's side in the second leg, however. Salzburg had proven in the Europa League quarterfinals that they're capable of mounting a fightback, and Die Roten Bullen did claw back the deficit with goals from Amadou Haidara and Bouna Sarr (OG). 

The finally poised game went to extra time and looked to be heading for a penalty shootout, until Rolando snatched Marseille a winner and their consequent ticket to Lyon. 


Previous Encounters:

Wednesday's clash will be just the third time the two sides have faced one another. Both of their previous encounters came in the 2008/09 Champions League group stage. Atletico ran out 2-1 winners at the Vicente Calderón Stadium but were held to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture. 

Los Colchoneros progressed to the round of 16 as runners-up to Liverpool, while Marseille finished third in the group and were consequently placed in the Europa League's round of 32. 


Form:

Marseille Form: DWLDWW

Les Olympiens sit fourth in Ligue 1 with just one game left of the season. So far, they've won 21 and lost five of their 37 matches thus far. They've scored a total of 78 league goals (2.1 per game) and conceded 46 (1.2 per game). 

Marseille have won seven and lost five of their 14 Europa League games. They've scored 20 times (1.4 per game) and conceded 11 times (0.8 per game) while playing in Europe this year.

Atletico Madrid Form: WLWWDD

Atletico are on course for a second-place finish in La Liga with 23 wins and five losses from 37 games. They've scored on 56 occasions (1.5 per game) and boast the league's best defense having conceded just 20 goals all season (0.5 per game). 

Los Colchoneros, who qualified for the Europa League via a third-placed finish in the Champions League group stage, have won six and lost one of their eight games played in the competition. They've scored a total of 17 goals (2.1 per game) and conceded four (0.5 per game). 


Team News:

Center back Rolando and forward Kostas Mitroglou are both doubts for Marseille ahead of the game. Bouna Sarr dislocated his should in the semifinals but is expected to be fit. Former West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet was missing from Marseille's squad in their 3-3 draw to Guingamp on Friday with a knock but is expected to recover in time for Wednesday night. 

Atletico's Vrsaljko will be available for selection having served his one-game ban. Centre back Jose Gimenez and midfielder Vitolo are both minor doubts, however. 

Potential Marseille Lineup: Pele, Sakai, Rami, Luiz Gustavo, Amavi, Zambo Anguissa, Sanson, Thauvin, Payet, Sarr, Mitroglou

Potential Atletico Madrid Lineup: Oblak, Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Lucas, Correa, Saul Niguez, Gabi, Koke, Griezmann, Diego Costa


Prediction:

Atletico are heavy favorites for the trophy, and it's clear to see why. Simeone possess one of the most adaptable squads in Europe which boasts an efficient back line and a proficient strike force. 

Marseille, on the other hand, will pose a real threat in the final third, but the French side have kept just two clean sheets in their last 18 games. Their defense is especially susceptible from set pieces, an area which Atletico excel in.  

Marseille's Europa League progress has also been heavily reliant on an impeccable home form - they've managed to win just one game out of nine played away from the Stade Velodrome (qualifiers included). Les Olympiens should feel more accustomed to playing in Lyon compared to their Spanish opposition, but Atletico perform consistently both in the Wanda Metropolitano and outside of Madrid. 

Prediction: Marseille 0-2 Atletico Madrid 

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