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Mandanda a chance for Salzburg?

Publish on 02/05/2018 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS

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Olympique de Marseille's talismanic captain and 'keeper Steve Mandanda could line up between the sticks in Thursday's crucial Europa League semi-final return leg despite having been out injured for over a month.

Steve Mandanda was forced off with a thigh complaint in OM's 3-1 win in Dijon on March 31, and although there was speculation that he wouldn't play again this season, his return to full training on Tuesday has sparked hopes of a return to action for Thursday's crunch clash in Austria.

Olympique de Marseille won the first leg of their semi-final against Red Bull Salzburg 2-0 at the Orange Vélodrome last week, a result that left them in the driver's seat in the tie, and Rudi Garcia and his men will of course be looking to finish the job in Salzburg on Thursday.

While having club legend Mandanda on the pitch would doubtless be a huge boost to the in-form side - who are looking to book a place in a European final for the time since their UEFA Cup defeat to Valencia in 2004 - Garcia is unlikely to take any risks with the France 'keeper's fitness, especially with the World Cup in Russia just weeks away.

Should they decide against Mandanda's taking part, it will be Yohann Pelé - who impressively kept a clean sheet in the first leg - who will resume duties between the sticks.