UEL Preview: Marseille face Atalanta in semi-final decider

UEL Preview: Marseille face Atalanta in semi-final decider

Publish on 05/08 at 23:50 - G. BOXALL


Jean-Louis Gasset's Marseille side are looking to qualify for the UEFA Europa League final as France's only representative left in European competition, but they face tricky trip over the alps to Italy and Atalanta

Olympique de Marseille and Atalanta faced off for the very first time in the first leg of this UEFA Europa League semi-final clash, but it will be the match at the Gewiss Stadium this Thursday which will decisively decide who progresses to the final in Dublin at the end of the month. The two sides played out a tense 1-1 draw in Southern France last week, thanks to a strike from the Nerazzurri's in-form man Gianluca Scamacca (11') and a rocketed effort from OM defender Chancel Mbemba (20').

It was a draw which extended Marseille's home unbeaten run in European competition to eight games since November 2022, but Jean-Louis Gasset's men will have to travel to Northern Italy and get a result on the road if they are to reach the UEL final. Les Olympiens have struggled in this department this season, having only won twice away from home this season. They also remain winless in their last eight games against Italian opposition in European, and haven't won away from home in Italy in their last 11 trips to the peninsula.

Atalanta will be aiming to reach the final for a historic first time, as Gian Piero Gasperini will be hoping to use home advantage to get his side over the line, with 69% of the Italian side's wins coming this campaign on home soil.

Jean-Louis Gasset: "We need play a perfect game"

Marseille boss Jean-Louis Gasset is a coach who isn't used to the massive occasion of a European semi-final, but says his side are ready to face Atalanta. "I've never played in a semi-final of anything... Let alone a final. We can dream. We've analysed the match we played in the first leg. We felt good about the game, looking straight at an impressive away team. We needed to play a special game at home and we did."

"In this squad, there are a lot of players with experience, who have played for big clubs, played in big matches and are internationals," said the Frenchman about his squad, adding "They are aware they are one match away from a historic date."

Marseille vs Atalanta BC: Predicted lineups

Atalanta BC: Carnesecchi; Djimsiti, Hien, Scalvini; Zappacosta, De Roon, Ederson, Ruggeri; Koopmeiners, De Ketelaere; Scamacca

Olympique de Marseille: Lopez; Mbemba, Gigot, Balerdi; Clauss, Harit, Veretout, Kondogbia, Henrique; Aubameyang, Moumbagna

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