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Olympique Happy at Home for a Europa Football Bet

Olympique Happy at Home for a Europa Football Bet

Olympique Marseille vs Atletico Madrid

The Europa League Final is a chance for Olympique Marseille to secure Champions League football, but they need to beat Atletico Madrid first!

Talking Points

Rudi Garcia’s Marseille have a big task ahead of them but they won’t be unhappy to be playing at the Stade des Lumieres in Lyon. Facing up to one of Europe’s big guns, Marseilles will start as underdogs of course; but the best football bets can spot an edge, and it may just be that Garcia’s team’s form in France could even things up.

They charged to the final on the back of superb home form, winning eight and drawing one in France. They like the climate, they love the food, they are at ease and they win on home soil. It’s a real cause for optimism, something the French will need if they are to break down Atleti’s world class defence.

Garcia, the former Roma boss, has had two seasons in South of France and is growing a talented team, with former West Ham star Dimitri Payet in exciting form as a scorer, and a creator of goals for front man Florian Thauvin. And they know this is their best chance of Champions League football next season as they are currently fourth in Ligue 1 with one game remaining.

Atletico have made as many headlines off the pitch as on it in recent weeks. Firstly, and significantly, Coach Diego Simeone will be serving a touchline ban on the final, having copped a four-match suspension. The fiery Argentine insulted an official in the semi-final win against Arsenal so he’ll be out of the way if there are any controversial calls in the final!

Then Real Madrid fan and tennis superstar Rafael Nadal was snapped wearing an Atleti shirt at the semi-final and has had to defend himself, saying: “There’s a problem with today’s society, that to be a true supporter of one team, you have to be anti another team.”

Well, yes, that’s about it Rafael!

Back on the pitch, Atletico still has work to do to hold off Real Madrid in La Liga’s chase for second place, so they too have plenty to think about this week. But, undeniably, they have the real quality, landing in the Europa League after dropping out of the Champions League and with Antoine Griezmann, constantly courted by the world’s best teams, and Diego Costa, they have a potent threat to strike fear into any defence.

An injury to Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda’s has given understudy Pele a chance, but his fellow countrymen Lucas and Griezmann will test him to the full.


Simeone’s Atleti will carry the greater expectation in the run up to the final, having won this competition in 2010 and 2012, before reaching the Champions League finals in 2014 and 2016. And they overcame a dangerous Arsenal side in the semi-final, while Olympique’s home and away form was evident, overcoming Salzburg, 3-2 on aggregate, having taken a 2-0 lead to Austria.

The French team have a fine domestic pedigree, winning Ligue 1 for the ninth time in 2010, before PSG’s dominance, and bagging the Coupe de France on ten occasions. They are twice beaten finalists in the UEFA Cup in 1999 and 2004 and will be determined to go one better this time.

Online betting sites can point to recent form, Atletico having won three in the last four, while Marseilles has won one and drawn two; but there isn’t much to go on if you’re looking for head-to-head Intel. The only time the two met previously was ten years ago in the group stages of the Champions League, when a stalemate in Marseilles followed an Atleti win in Spain.

Can Garcia’s men even it up?

What are the Odds?

The football betting odds point to a win for Diego Simeone, but it’s by no means a foregone conclusion.

If you see this as a home fixture for Marseilles then they have won the last four on home soil. But Lyon isn’t Marseilles, it isn’t quite so simple. Atletico has won two and drawn one of their last three away games, but did lose the two before that.

A one goal margin seems likely with Atletico at 1.90 with a -0.75 goal handicap and Olympique at 2.02 with that start.

Despite Marseille’s attacking flair it’s going to be cagey, and the most likely half time scenario is a level first 45 minutes at odds of 2.19.

Atletico’s defence is becoming legendary and Under 2.50 goals is available at a miserly 1.70, with Overs at 2.25. But with 2-3 goals at 1.85 it could go either way.

And the most likely score-line… 1-0 to Atletico at 5.00 of course!

This is going to be a must watch right to the final whistle.

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Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.





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Stuart Wilkin
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