Marseille take on the visitors Athletic Bilbao at “Stade Velodrome” in the first-leg battle of the 1/8 final stage of the UEFA Europa League. The match will be played on Thursday, March 8th.
At last Marseille have started to regain their former level. The club became much stronger comparing to the previous seasons. In the UEFA Europa league “Les Phoceens” occupied the second position in Group I standings with eight points earned after six encounters played against Salzburg, Konyaspor and Guimaraes. “Les Olympiens” showed weak effectiveness in attack, having scored four goals while their defenders looked really tough and conceded only four goals. In the recent home tackles Marseille have got 1:1 draw against Nantes, broke Bordeaux 1:0 and smashed Braga 3:0.
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Meanwhile, each season Athletic Bilbao promise a lot and their players raise great expectations, however, this season can be considered quite unsuccessful for the side. The Basques won Group J of the UEFA Europa League with 11 points taken after six clashes conducted against FK Zorya Luhansk, Ostersunds and Hertha Berlin. “Lehoiak” looked quite decent in attack, having scored eight goals while their defense also felt rather confident with just five goals conceded. In the previous away battles Athletic Bilbao have lost to Sevilla and Atletico Madrid with the same 0:2 scoreline, but managed to beat Spartak Moscow 3:1.
The rivals met in the UEFA Europa League 2015/2016 and the Basques succeeded in that fight. At this point “Les Phoceens” have recaptured a superb shape and show powerful play while “Lehoiak” struggle from serious troubles which are likely to be used by the upcoming hosts for reaching a confident triumph.
Prediction for the match: Marseille to win.