Marseille vs Athletic Club: Ziganda’s men travel to France in poor formMarch 8, 2018
Athletic Club travel to France to face Olympique Marseille on Thursday evening in the Europa League.
The Basque side travel to France to face the Ligue 1 side at the Velodrome stadium as underdogs, given their inconsistent league form.
Having been eliminated from the Copa del Rey to lowly Formentera prior to the turn of 2018 and sitting outside the European place in La Liga – many of the club’s fans and officials see the Europa League as their only key to success this season.
The two sides met two years ago in the knockout stages of the same competition and it saw the Basque club advance, winning 2-1 on aggregate.
Athletic picked up a 1-0 away win at the Velodrome, before the return fixture was a 1-1 draw.
With a whole host of talent on show, two players will be hoping they can produce the types of performances that have this season, won games.
Argentine forward Lucas Ocampos has been key to Marseille’s success in the Europa League, scoring once and assisting once in six games. His attacking play has also been matched with good defensive work, having made four tackles and interceptions per game.
For Athletic, their main threat will be Aritz Aduriz, who at 37-years-old – has burst into life of late, netting seven goals in seven games in the Europa League.
Rudi Garcia’s Marseille side will be without Christopher Rocchia and Konstantinos Mitroglou for the fixture, whilst Florian Thauvin is fit and will pose a threat, scoring 15 league goals this season so far.
For the Basque’s, Mikel Balenziaga has returned to full fitness, but Iker Muniain is expected to miss the game, having been introduced to light training following ligament damage this week.
Marseille Predicted Eleven: Pele, Sakai, Rami, Rolando, Amavi, Zambo Anguissa, Luis Gustavo, Thauvin, Payet, Ocampos, Germain
Athletic Club Predicted Eleven: Kepa, Lekue, Alvarez, Inigo Martinez, Saborit, San Jose, Iturraspe, Inaki Williams, Raul Garcia, Cordoba, Aduriz