Group I winners Red Bull Salzburg travel to France on Thursday to take on Marseille in the hopes of knocking the French side out of the Europa League with a win.
Stade velodrome, Marseille, France 07 Dec 2017 8:05 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: Marseille have won each of their four home matches in European football this season.
Expert Verdict: Marseille's record in European football of late makes them big favorites at home in this competition. Many teams would do very well to come to town and get a point against OM, and that includes RB Salzburg. Marseille have a lot to play for, and their manager knows his continued employment depends on results. They must and will win here.
Rudi Garcia will be missing defensive midfielder Boubacar Kamara due to an injury. Left back Jordan Amavi will miss out due to a suspension for a red card against Konyaspor.
With the team Marseille have, it's a wonder that they are in a position where they are forced to go out and get a win just to be second in a Europa League group. But such is the issue. The one to watch will be striker Valere Germain. The former Monaco man has scored five times in the competition, with one assist, and will be looking for more against the Austrians to take his side through.
Marseille have three draws and two wins in their last five matches:
1-1 draw at Montpellier
0-3 win at Metz
1-0 home win vs Guingamp
1-1 draw at Konyaspor (UEL)
1-1 draw at Bordeaux
Defenders:Sakai, Rolando, Rami, Abdennour
Defensive Midfielders:Gustavo, Anguissa
Attacking Midfielders:Thauvin, Sanson, Ocampos
Marco Rose will be without attacking midfielder Hannes Wolf due to an ankle injury.
Striker Munas Dabbur has had little trouble finding the back of the net this season. The Israeli scored in the win over Vitoria last time out in this competition to give him five already. He's also scored 12 times in the Austrian Bundesliga to lead this team in a dominant fashion, and he scored in the reverse fixture against Marseille. He could be set to ruin Marseille's hopes of advancing here with another good showing.
Salzburg have a draw and four wins in their last five matches:
1-1 draw at Austria Vienna
2-0 home vs Mattersburg
2-3 win at Rapid Vienna
3-0 home win vs Vitoria Guimaraes (UEL)
5-0 home win vs Sturm Graz
Defenders:Lainer, Pongracic, Caleta-Car, Ulmer
Midfielders:Haidara, Schlager, Minamino, Berisha
Salzburg got a 1-0 victory thanks to a goal from Munas Dabbur when they met Marseille for the first time back in September.
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Marseille are at 4/7 to win, a draw is at 14/5, and a RB Salzburg win is at 5/1.
Marseille's path to the round of 32 is relatively clear, but they still have a job to do in this home match. A draw would be good enough for them to advance no matter what, but a loss would put them in danger. If the other game is drawn, they would move on no matter how well they did at home here.
Salzburg have no worries ahead of this match. They will be moving on as group winners, and they will be able to try and take out a potential foe for the latter rounds if they could win here. Another consideration is that they will not have to worry with teams dropping out of the Champions League after their group victory.
Marseille won both home matches in qualifcation to get them to the group and they have won both of them in the group. Overall, OM have eight wins, two draws, and just one loss at home this season. RB Salzburg began in the UCL this year. They won the away leg in their first tie and then drew their second. They then won in the UEL qualifcation round. In the group, they have four points away from home. Overall, they have 12 wins, four draws, and one loss away from home in an impressive season.
Both sides played in midweek last week, so neither team will have the edge fitness wise going into this one.
A no on both teams to score is at evens via Ladbrokes.
Salzburg will travel to France and give it everything they have, but Marseille haven't lost in European football in a while at home and they will not do so when the lights are on the brightest. They win here and move into the next round alongside their visitors.