The Europa League is like the younger brother of the Champions League but it comes with a couple of nice benefits. The winner of the Europa League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup as well as the next season’s Champions League. That’s what is at stake Wednesday when Atletico Madrid takes on Marseille in Lyon in the Europa League final. Atletico Madrid is a sizable soccer odds favorite.
Marseille vs. Atletico Madrid 2018 UEL Final Soccer Odds & Game Info
Marseille v Atlético: all you need to know ahead of the #UELfinal 👇👇👇
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) May 14, 2018
When: Wednesday, 2:25 PM ET
Where: Stade des Lumières, Lyon, France
TV: Fox Sports 1
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Soccer Odds: Atletico Madrid -147, Marseille +466, Draw +268 (2.5)
Why Bet on Marseille?
Marseille is fourth in Ligue 1, which was won by usual by Paris Saint-Germain. Marseille didn’t look great in its final warmup for this game, a 3-3 draw vs. Guingamp on May 11. Florian Thauvin scored twice and set up another but Marseille could not claim the three points that would have lifted them to second place in the Ligue 1 table. Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was shown a red card after bringing Jimmy Briand down and the fouled striker dusted himself off before slotting in the spot-kick to put Guingamp ahead on 70 minutes. With nine minutes remaining, however, Thauvin scored the tying goal.
Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud is hopeful captain Dimitri Payet will be fit for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Atletico Madrid. Payet, 31, was a late withdrawal from the squad on Friday again Guingamp, raising fears he could miss the final. Payet has been a central figure in Marseille reaching their first European final since 2004. Along with Thauvin, he has also orchestrated their push for a top-three finish in Ligue 1 that would bring with it a Champions League spot next season no matter what happens in this game.
Marseille’s last Europa League match was a 2-1 loss to FC Salzburgh on May 3, but Marseille advanced from the two-leg semifinal 3-2 on aggregate. Substitute Jorge Rolando volleyed home from a corner in the 115th minute to snatch a 3-2 aggregate victory for the French side, after Salzburg had earlier cancelled out a 2-0 first-leg deficit at Red Bull Arena.
Has a French Team Ever Won this Title?
No French side has won ever UEFA Cup/Europa League. They lost in the finals of 1999 and 2004. Marseille were the first team to be proclaimed UEFA Champions League winners, back in 1993.
Marseille have won just 1 away match in the Europa League this season, and while this is the neutral venue in Lyon it’s still a tricky trend as they’ve lost 2 times last year on this ground against Lyon (0-2 and 1-3). Marseille’s defense has been their Achilles heel of late as they are struggling to keep clean sheets, conceding in 7 of their last 8 fixtures in all competitions.
Marseille have won eight of their nine European home games this season but just one of the nine away from the Stade Vélodrome – that 2-1 victory in Bilbao.
Why Bet on Atletico Madrid?
Atletico Madrid are heavyweights of European football and they won this competition in 2010 and 2012. They are usually seen thriving in the Champions League. They were semi-finalists last and have twice finished runners-up in the Champions League in recent years, but they dropped down to the Europa League this year and were instantly installed as favorites.
The clubs’ only past fixtures came in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage. Atletico beat Marseille 2-1 at home before a goalless draw at the Stade Vélodrome.
Atleti won the Europa League in both 2010 & ’12. Atletico edged past Arsenal 2-1 over the two legs in their semi-final, Diego Costa sealing a 1-0 win in Madrid following a 1-1 draw in north London. This is Atletico’s second UEFA final in Lyon, and they will be hoping for a more positive outcome; they were defeated 3-0 by Dynamo Kyiv in the 1986 European Cup Winners’ Cup at the Stade de Gerland.
Atletico have already secured a place in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League group stage through their domestic league placing, whereas Marseille are a point outside Ligue 1’s qualifying berths with one game to play.
Atletico beat Getafe 1-0 on Saturday in the side’s penultimate La Liga match of the season. Diego Simeone’s men secured the three points thanks to Koke’s eighth-minute strike and Jan Oblak’s second-half penalty save from Faycal Fajr to clinch second in the standings. Atletico picked up no new fitness issues in the match with full-backs Juanfran Torres and Filipe Luis both coming through the 90 minutes following recent injuries.
How Well is Atleti’s Defense?
Atletico are the best defensive side in the top 5 European domestic leagues with just 20 goals conceded in 37 matches.
Speculation over star Antoine Griezmann’s future has dominated the build-up to Atletico’s Europa League final against Marseille, with Cadena Cope reporting that Atletico have made the France international a contract offer of more than €20 million per year. There’s talk that Greizmann could leave for more money at Barcelona.
Atlético’s record in 12 matches against French clubs is W6 D5 L1, the only defeat coming at Lens (2-4) in the fourth round of the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup – a result that eliminated them following a first-leg 2-2 draw in Madrid. However, Atlético have not beaten a French club in France since September 1961, when they won 3-2 at Sedan in the first round of their triumphant European Cup Winners’ Cup campaign. However, they were victorious at Monaco’s Stade Louis II in the 2010 and 2012 UEFA Super Cups, defeating Internazionale Milano (2-0) and Chelsea (4-1) respectively.
Atletico’s record in 14 European encounters this season is W7 D5 L2. Their only defeat outside Madrid was a 1-0 loss in Lisbon against Sporting.
Expert UEL Betting Prediction
The only past meetings between these sides in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage. Atletico beat Marseille 2-1 at home before a goalless draw at the Stade Vélodrome. Take Atletico 1-0 here in the soccer odds.