UEFA Europa League

UEFA Europa League Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Marseille

UEFA Europa League Preview: Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Marseille

UEFA Europa League
Publish on 02/14 at 18:17 - G. BOXALL


Gennaro Gattuso’s Marseille make the trip to Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion in the first leg of a decisive Europa League knockout round play-off tie against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Les Olympiens will return to European action on Thursday night following a two-month break which has seen the club’s form slip in recent weeks. With Olympique de Marseille's winless run entering their fifth game, they would have to beat Ukrainian opposition to break it - a feat they have not achieved in 20 years.

After taking 11 points out of their first five Europa League encounters, Marseille’s loss in December at Brighton’s Amex Stadium (1-0) saw them finish second in Group B of the UEFA Europa League after a late strike from Joao Pedro. The defeat against the Seagulls condemned Gennaro Gattuso’s side to a knockout play-off clash against a Shakhtar Donetsk side who dropped into the second tier of European competition following a 5-3 loss against FC Porto in Group H.

It will be the first time OM have reached the knockout phase of the Europa League since the 2017-2018 season, where Spanish giants Atletico Madrid beat them in the final. After their defeat against Brighton in December, the Phocean side have only managed a haul of two wins from eight games in all competitions, drawing to Metz last Friday (1-1) to extend OM’s winless run to five matches. With a self-described “mini-crisis” at the club, Gattuso’s men are under pressure to perform now on the European stage.

The draw to Metz saw Samuel Gigot sent off in the first half, but the Frenchman will be available to play in the Europa league, whilst Ismaïla Sarr faces suspension after racking up too many yellow cards. Chancel Mbemba should be in contention to face the Ukrainian side, whilst Geoffrey Kondogbia and Jordan Veretout were rested against Metz and could make Thursday's clash.

Marseille’s Probable lineup:

Olympique de Marseille: Lopez; Clauss, Mbemba, Balerdi, Merlin; Ounahi, Onana, Harit; Ndiaye, Aubameyang, Correa

Top videos