Joey - March 6, 2018
Olympique Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao
UEFA Europa League
Date: Thursday, 8 March 2018
Kick-Off at 20:05 UK
Venue: Stade Velodrome (Marseille).
Athletic Bilbao have claimed just two points in three opening games of the group phase, but the three-win run has pushed them right at the top of the Group J and booked them a place in the last 32 round of the competition. The Basques had a tough challenge in the likes of Russian Premier League holders Spartak Moscow there, but a 1-3 win in the first leg in Moscow (inspired by phenomenal Aritz Aduriz) closed the tie and led them into the R16 where they will be playing French Olympique Marseille.
The French outfit has been anything but impressive in their respective group, but they somehow managed to come second at the end before eliminating Portuguese Sporting Braga thanks to an impressive 3-0 win at their Velodrome. Nonetheless, the Phocians won’t come into this clash high on confidence as they’ve lost three and drawn one of last four matches across competitions. M
Truth be told, two of these losses came against the star-studded PSG side, but the weekend’s hardly-fought draw to Nantes at home confirmed sort of a crisis for Rudi Garcia and his men. Marseille were just incapable of keeping things quiet at the back of late and we could see them struggle to do so against the attacking line led by Aritz Aduriz who has bagged as many as 10 goals so far in the competition.
The two sides played each other in the knockout stage of the same competition two years ago when the Basques advanced 2-1 on aggregate.
Bilbao picked up a 0-1 win in the first leg at Velodrome, while the reverse fixture saw a 1-1 draw.
The value has to be with the Lions who are 2.10 to leave Velodrome undefeated and as high as 4.75 to get away win the victory in the first leg.
Given that Marseille have had troubles with the lack of meticulousness at the back lately, we’ll take Aritz Aduriz to score anytime for the Spanish outfit at the odds of 2.62.
Athletic Bilbao or Draw Double Chance @ 2.10
Aritz Aduriz to score anytime @ 2.62