Europa League Final Preview – Marseille v Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid go looking for their third Europa League title in eight years as they face Marseille in the final in Lyon.

Atletico have a brilliant pedigree in this competition and have been favourites since joining via the Champions League midway through the campaign.

Diego Simeone’s side have already secured their place in the Champions League via La Liga so they are just playing for the trophy, but Marseille might need this trophy.

The French League has one round left and Marseille lie in fourth and would need to get above Lyon to secure Champions League football, so victory – ironically in Lyon – could be their route back to Europe’s top table.

Marseille have never won this trophy, but they have two been runner-up in 1999 and 2004 and coach Rudi Garcia admits the odds are stacked against his side pulling off a shock win.

“We have a pretty small chance of winning but we are going to give it our all. Playing Atletico is a big event for us,” he said.

“This is a club who have played two Champions League finals in the past four years, a club that won the Europa League not long ago. But a final at home in France is a fantastic opportunity. No French side have ever won this trophy; it would be fantastic if we could be the first.”

Simeone, though, is refusing to take Marseille lightly and says: “Everything is set up for a great final. [Marseille have] been improving and they have a coach who has so many options at his disposal and a lot of nous. They’re very dangerous, particularly in midfield and attack.

“It’ll certainly be a tough game. As soon as we got knocked out of the Champions League, we immediately embraced this competition. Being widely billed as contenders to reach the final heightened our sense of duty and responsibility. And here we are.”

See below for a preview on the game, including predictions from former England, Crystal Palace and Tottenham midfielder Andy Gray and our own Football Insider Graeme Bailey and BoyleSports’s Lawrence Lyons.

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Marseille 19:45 Atletico Madrid
Parc Olympique Lyonnais

TEAM NEWS: With Filipe Luis returning to fitness, Atletico Madrid have a fully fit squad to choose from. Marseille should have influential midfielder Dmitri Payet available. Bouna Sarr should be available, whilst they are also waiting on Rolando and Kostas Mitroglou.
KEY FACT: No French side has ever won this competition
MATCH ODDS: Marseille 3/1 Draw 12/5 Evens
BoyleSports Pick: Atletico to win 1-0 @9/2 
ANDY SAYS: Should be a good game, but I expect Atletico to come out on top…2-1
GRAEME SAYS: Atletico are going to be far too good for Marseille here, comfortable win…3-0
FOOTBALLIndex – One to follow: Antoine Griezmann – Could sign off his Atletico career in style

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