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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

A goal might be enough for Marseille to break Red Bull Salzburg

French side capable of scoring in Germany

Valon Berisha of Salzburg plays the ball
1 of 1

Europa League semi-final second leg
BT Sport 3, 8.05pm Thursday

Salzburg overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit in their Europa League quarter-final with Lazio - recovering from a 4-2 loss to win 6-5 on aggregate - and must try to achieve something similar against semi-final opponents Marseille, who beat them 2-0 in the south of France last Thursday.

The first-leg score was a little harsh on Salzburg, who created some excellent chances and had a strong penalty appeal turned down.

But it leaves them in a tricky situation, knowing that if they concede an away goal they will need to score four goals or more to reach the final.

The teams crossed swords in Group I and were involved in a couple of low-scoring games - Salzburg won 1-0 in Austria and the pair drew 0-0 at the Stade Velodrome.

However, last Thursday's match was more open and the trend could continue with goals set to flow in the second leg.

It is in Marseille's nature to play attacking football.

Rudi Garcia's side average 2.09 goals per game in the French top flight this season and they have the players capable of exposing a Salzburg side who have little choice other than to push forward.

However, Marseille looked defensively vulnerable during the first leg and can expect to be put under serious pressure by a side capable of scoring heavily on home soil.

Salzburg have scored at least two goals in three of their last four Europa League home fixtures and last month's 4-1 win at home to Lazio featured three goals between the 72nd and 76th minutes.

The fightback against Lazio was sparked by Israel international striker Munas Dabbur, who leads the Salzburg scoring charts with 26 goals in all competitions this season.


Europa League stats

Austrian standings

Ligue 1 standings


But Dabbur was out of sorts in the first leg and Salzburg need him firing on all cylinders if they are to have a decent chance of progressing.

Salzburg defended well in the group matches, conceding one goal in six games, but have looked more vulnerable against better opponents in the knockout stage.

They have kept just one clean sheet in seven knockout-stage matches and their shaky defence is a concern given the quality in Marseille's attack.

Former Newcastle flop Florian Thauvin leads the way for Marseille with 20 league goals this season and there are obvious threats from striker Kostas Mitroglou and playmaker Dimitri Payet, who are vastly experienced on the big stage.

Salzburg can win but a shutout looks beyond them and that may be decisive in a tie which is heavily balanced in Marseille's favour.

Recommendation
Salzburg to win and both teams to score
1pt 11-4 general

Bet on this match at soccerbase.com

Team news
Salzburg
Marco Rose had a full squad to select from for the first leg and no fresh injuries are reported.

Marseille
No fresh injuries are reported but Steve Mandanda (muscle strain) and Hiroki Sakai (knee) are sidelined.

Key stat
Both teams have scored in five of Salzburg's last seven Europa League games.


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Their shaky defence is a concern given the quality in Marseille's attack
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