Marseille vs RB Leipzig – Thursday, April 12, 20:05BST/21:05CEST – Stade Velodrome, Marseille, France.
The circle was only briefly interrupted. Following Leipzig’s win against Zenit in the round of 16 die Roten Bullen managed to defeat Bayern indicating that they had perhaps finally come to terms with the midweek games. That illusion was shattered on Monday when RB Leipzig were dismantled 4-1 at home by Bayer Leverkusen ringing in the return of inconsistent RB Leipzig.
On paper, it was a result that should now favour Olympique Marseille in the second leg. The French were already the better team for much of the first leg, but Leipzig won the game 1-0 and recorded their first clean sheet in European history. The result and the fact that Leipzig have shown in the past that they can follow up a poor performance with a convincing victory means that the defeat to Leverkusen does not equate to Marseille becoming the favourites in the second leg.
The result, in fact, does not completely reflect the game on Monday night against Bayer. Leipzig were too inefficient in front of the opponents’ goal and allowed Bayer to much room to score. Head coach Ralph Hasenhüttl will likely address both those issues ahead of Leipzig’s away match in France.
Marseille, in the meantime, had their disappointing result on Sunday. Drawing Montpellier 0-0 means that OM have fallen behind Olympique Lyon for the race of the third and final Champions League spot in Ligue 1. Lacking topscorer Florian Thauvin up front – the attacking midfielder remains questionable – Marseille lack creativity to pick apart top teams.
Marseille will, therefore, have to hope for their fiery home support at the Velodrome to get a result. But Leipzig showed at the Krestovsky that they now have the maturity to stand up to their opponents on the road. Hence, despite Leipzig’s short-comings on Monday and, the fact, that the Germans had one day less to rest, die Roten Bullen are favourites to advance.
Marseille vs RB Leipzig – Players to look out for:
Dimitri Payet #10 – Olympique Marseille
Dimitri Payet’s star emerged at the 2016 European Championships in France. Playing for West Ham United at the time Payet looked at times like the second coming of Frank Ribéry. An explosive and unpredictable winger Payet lost a season in England after forcing through a move back to Marseille. It was an ugly affair, and in the long-run, the move back may have cost him his international career in France. But despite his enfant terrible status, Payet remains a fantastic player to watch at times, and there is no doubt that he will be Marseille’s danger man against Leipzig on Thursday.
Timo Werner #11 – RB Leipzig
Timo Werner scored the game-winning goal for Leipzig in the first leg. It was already Werner’s fourth goal in the Europa League, and his seventh goal in 11 competitive UEFA games, this season. With 19 goals in 40 games in all competitions, Werner has scored a goal every 156 minutes this season and is the favourite to start for Germany up front at the World Cup next summer.
Marseille vs RB Leipzig – Match Stats
- Before the first leg the two teams have never met in UEFA competition, although Marseille have faced another team from the same city, defeating Lokomotive Leipzig 1-0 on aggregate in the 1987/88 European Cup Winners’ Cup.
- Leipzig’s 1-0 victory in the first leg was the club’s first clean sheet in any of their ten European matches, home and away, conceding 16 goals in total.
- Marseille have lost nine of their 17 matches against German opposition, winning five. Four of those wins have come on French soil.
- Of the last three matches on French soil Marseille, however, have lost two and drawn one.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Marseille vs RB Leipzig – 1-1
Marseille vs RB Leipzig – Lineups
Gulasci – Klostermann, Upamecano, Orban, Bernardo – Keïta, Demme – Forsberg, Sabitzer – Poulsen, Werner
Head Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Pele – Amavi, Luiz Gustavo, Kamara, Sakai – Maxime Lopez, Sanson – Ocampos, Payet, Sarr – Germain
Head Coach: Rudi Garcia
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth. Or contact him via email: [email protected]