Atletico Madrid will take on Marseille in the highly anticipated final of the Europa League at the Stade de Lyon on Wednesday.
Marseille take on Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final at the Groupama Stadium with Rudi Garcia’s charges bidding to become the first French side to win the tournament.
As for Diego Simeone’s Atletico, Los Rojiblancos will be without their coach on the touchline following his sending-off in the semi-finals, as the Spanish club look to win a third Europa crown since 2010.
Luiz Gustavo could start at centre-back with Rolando struggling with a knock. Rudi Garcia will give the Portuguese boss every opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of the Europa League final, however.
Kostas Mitroglou is also a doubt, which could see Valere Germain lead the attack.
All in all, Garcia isn’t expected to make wholesale changes to his first choice XI.
Sime Vrsaljko returns from suspension for Atletico Madrid, though Diego Simeone may continue with the experienced Juanfran at right-back.
Filipe Luis may get the nod at left-back ahead of Lucas Hernandez after the former’s full recovery from injury.
Jose Gimenez and Vitolo are both doubts for the La Liga giants, though have been included in the travelling squad, with Stefan Savic and Angel Correa in line in deputise in defence and on the right flank, respectively.
Marseille lost ground in the race for a Champions League finish as they drew 3-3 with Guingamp on Friday night and they now sit three points behind Monaco ahead of the final week of the season. The Ligue 1 side have won just one of their last four competitive outings and just two of their last four Europa League matches. They also lost their only visit to Parc OL this season, falling to a 2-0 loss to Lyon back in December, while their form away from the Velodrome in the Europa League this season has been poor, with just one win from their seven away games in Europe this term.
Atletico Madrid have too struggled on their travels in European action this season, winning only two of seven away Champions League and Europa League matches. Their form coming into this one, though, has been commendable, with Diego Simeone overseeing three wins in Atletico’s last four matches. However, like Marseille and the Velodrome, the Spanish side have faltered on their travels of late, with a five-match winless run preceding back-to-back wins over Alaves and Getafe, respectively.
Atletico will look to their resolute defence to see them through Wednesday’s final and they should have the means to secure a third Europa League trophy in what is expected to be a hard-fought contest in Lyon.
Did you know?
Although born in Macon, just 61km from Lyon, Griezmann has never played professional club football in his native France.
This is Atlético’s second UEFA final in Lyon; they lost 3-0 to Dynamo Kyiv in the 1986 European Cup Winners’ Cup at the Stade de Gerland.
Marseille have won eight of their nine European home games this season but just one of nine away from the Stade Vélodrome – a 2-1 victory at Athletic Club.
This will be the first meeting between Marseille and Atlético Madrid in European competition since 2008/09, when the Spaniards went unbeaten against them in the Champions League group stage (W1 D1).
Marseille will compete in their third UEFA Cup/Europa League final in this game, while they’re looking for their first victory following defeats to Parma in 1998/99 and Valencia in 2003/04.
Les Olympiens are aiming to be the first French team to win a major European competition since 1995/96, when PSG beat SK Rapid Wien in the Cup Winner’s Cup.
Indeed, this game will see a French and Spanish team face each other in a major European final for the first time since that 2-0 defeat for Marseille against Valencia in 2003/04.
This will be Diego Simeone’s fourth major European final since taking charge at Atlético in 2011/12 – the Argentine has lost both of his Champions League finals, however did win his only previous Europa League final in 2011/12.
Of the six previous occasions that a Spanish team has reached the Europa League final, only one of them has not gone on to win – however, that came in 2011/12 when Athletic Club were beaten by fellow Spanish side Atlético (0-3).
A victory for Los Colchoneros in this game would see them equal Sevilla as the team to have won the Europa League on the most occasions (three).
Since the start of the 2013/14 campaign, Spanish clubs have won seven of the possible eight Champions League and Europa League trophies combined, with Manchester United’s win in this competition last season being the only exception.
Marseille have won just four of their 15 games against Spanish teams in European competition (D3 L8) – half of those victories have come in the last two games, however, beating Athletic Club in both legs of the Last 16 this season.
Prediction: Marseille 1-2 Atletico Madrid