THE Europa League has been a very exciting competition this season, but sadly we are almost at the end of the tournament. A place in next season's Champions League is at stake and our man Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) previews the encounter between Marseille and Salzburg.
Marseille v Salzburg | Thursday 26th April 2018, 20:05 | BT Sport
This semi-final is between two sides that love to score goals, so it should be an entertaining encounter. The bookies have made Marseille the clear favourites to win at a best price of 4/6 with Betfred – but the Austrian side are not to be counted out thanks to their stern defence and goal heroics!
The Ligue 1 side have been excellent at home in the Europa League winning seven and drawing one of their eight in the competition so far. Unfortunately for them ahead of this fixture – the only blip was against tonight's opponents, Salzburg!
It is quite interesting that the tie against Salzburg in the group stages ended 0-0 because they have scored 21 goals in those eight matches and even scored five last time out against the much fancied Leipzig in order to qualify for the semi-finals.
Goalscoring is certainly something that is coming easy to them at present, with 27 netted in all competitions across their last 10 matches.
As I’ve already highlighted when previewing Salzburg’s Europa League games in the past, they are one tough cookie to crack. They have lost just one of their 12 Europa League games this season and as I have pointed out – they have already held Marseille away from home to a 0-0 too.
Whilst their defence is almost imperious at home though, the clean sheet in Marseille last time out was a bit of an anomaly for their away days in the Europa League so far. They have played seven away games in this competition, keeping a clean sheet just twice and have let in seven in their last three Europa League matches on the road.
Saying that though, I do feel that they have been underrated a little by the bookies, I am very surprised to see Marseille odds on when you consider Salzburg have lost just three of their 51 matches this season – a percentage of just six percent!
The betting angle
Marseille will be fully aware of the fact that Salzburg have not lost any of their 25 home matches this season and of course will remember their 1-0 defeat at their stadium, so they will be going all guns blazing to win here, especially as they have scored 27 in their last 10.
With Salzburg conceding seven in their last three Europa League away games, I am going to suggest backing goals here – but goals for both sides. BTTS is too short really, so I will plump for Marseille to score in both halves at 13/10 with Boylesports.
Marseille v Salzburg – Marseille to score in both halves (13/10 Betfair)