Marseille and Lazio do battle in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday! Who will take the points in this crucial clash?
Marseille and Lazio will aim to make this week’s Europa League showdown a better watch for the neutrals when they meet again at the Orange Velodrome for Thursday’s Group E matchup.
The two continental giants played out a boring, goalless stalemate on matchday three and are separated by one point in the rankings at the halfway point.
Having seemingly lost their magic early-season touch, Marseille’s struggles to score in Europe are well-documented, and Jorge Sampaoli could not inspire his side to victory over Lazio last time out.
Over the past six weeks, Les Olympiens have also failed to score against Angers, Galatasaray, Lille, and Paris Saint-Germain, and they had to rely on a 25th-minute Cengiz Ünder strike to steal victory against newly-promoted Clermont in Ligue 1 at the weekend.
Lazio’s clash with Marseille did not produce the flurry of goals that many expected, but the Biancocelesti’s battle with Atalanta BC did, as the two sides ultimately shared the points, following a four-goal stalemate in Saturday’s Serie A showdown.
In squad news, Marseille don’t have many injury and suspension concerns to work around for Thursday’s game, but Dimitri Payet, Boubacar Kamara, and Valentin Rongier are all just one booking away from a ban.
Luan Peres has shifted to the left-hand side of a back four with a recent change in shape for Sampaoli, who opted to start Payet on the bench at Clermont, but will surely reintroduce the 34-year-old from the start here.
Striker Arkadiusz Milik and centre-back Duje Ćaleta-Car will also hope to force their way back into the first XI here, while Rongier is the hosts’ only injury doubt after missing the Clermont win with a groin strain.
Meanwhile, Lazio also nearly have a full-strength squad for this crunch match, with midfielder Mattia Zaccagni the only absentee for Maurizio Sarri this week, because of a knee concern.
Danilo Cataldi started against Atalanta, but Toma Bašić and Lucas Leiva are knocking on the door for recalls in an otherwise settled XI. Ciro Immobile, Pedro, and Felipe Anderson should once again form an attacking trio.
Marseille’s new-found defensive toughness and home advantage will work in their favour, but we still expect Lazio to do enough to come away with a point. Our prediction is 1-1.