EUROPA: Europa League – Play off
Match start: 20:05 (GMT+1)
We present to your attention one of the most unpredictable pairs of the second round of the playoffs of Europa League. The modern squads of these two teams have enough players of the highest class who are worthy to play in the final of the continental tournament. However, according to draw procedure, either the hosts, or the closest guests of Vélodrome exactly in one week, on the 15th of March will finish their performance on the European arena.
Marseille (the head coach Rudi Garcia)
Despite the present third place in standings of the French championship, Marseille experiences recently serious changes. It is enough to remember two defeats in a row at the meetings against PSG in the championship and in a quarterfinal of a national cup with total score - 0:6 (0:3 and 0:3), and two ridiculous draws against two rivals that are lower in class - Saint-Etienne (2:2) and last Sunday against Nantes (1:1). Of course, the loss of two points during home meeting is offensive.
Athletic Club Bilbao (the head coach José Ángel Ziganda)
In the first round of the playoffs of the current continental tournament Athletic Club Bilbao which is taking only the 14th place in La Liga had destroyed the champion of Russia Spartak.
Now Basques are facing two legged tie against stronger and talented rival. However in the championship of Spain the last results of the team of José Ángel Ziganda does not stand up to criticism. Only one home victory over Malaga (2:1) was gained. But the Basques have two guest defeats in a row to Atlético Madrid (0:2) and Sevilla (0:2).
Which of two top clubs of France and Spain need the final victory in a current championship of the Europa League more? Definite answer - to the most popular club of the Basque Country! Only this way Athletic will manage to brighten up this season, absolutely unsuccessful for the club.
But for the hosts of Velodrome the fight against Monaco for the second direct berth into the Champions League is the most important now. Obviously, at the same time the participation in the Europa League is less important.
Marseille – 1.85, draw – 3.50, Athletic – 4.20;
teams to score (yes) - odds 1.95 William Hill